Thursday, January 31, 2013

Put a Cork in it!

Over the past couple of years I've grown to really enjoy wine drinking- it's perfect whether for a hostess gift, gossip with the girls, or date night. I've learned a lot about what types I enjoy most by visiting some vineyards and our resident wine expert at LPF Mag (my good friend Missy), who writes articles on affordable bottles of wine!)

I've rounded up some of the cutest ceramic wine cork stoppers & all time favorite bottles of wine for today's post!

Put a Cork In It // Witty Wine Stoppers & Affordable Bottles of Wine

Ceramic Bottle Stoppers:

Affordable Wine Picks
1. Fancy Pants Sauvignon Blanc: sweet & citrusy
2. Jam Jar Petite Sirah: a good "starter red", with a bit of fruitiness
3. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc: a dry wine with grapefruit notes & tartiness
4. Barrymore Pinot Grigio: crisp & light with a hint of citrus

I'm always trying new ones (Trader Joes is one of those hidden gems for extremely affordable bottles), but I also like visiting our local wine shop (support local business!) to get recommendations from the in store experts!

What are your favorite affordable wines?

xoxo, lauren
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Is this Love?

It certainly was love at first sight when I saw this pop art heart shirt at Forever 21 this weekend. I have always had a thing for hearts- drawing a heart following my signature since I was a little girl. I also had to have these vintagey rhinestone earrings (for less than $10, they make quite a statement!).

This post title was inspired by my very favorite Bob Marley song, "Is this Love".

"is this love" - bob marley graphic

LPF style: heart shirt, statement earrings & red lipstick
how amazing is this heart print shirt?

heart shirt & statement earrings
apparently I hit the Forever 21 jackpot this weekend!

statement earrings in blue & white china catchall
these earrings look perfect in my thrifted blue & white dish turned jewelry catchall

I think this shirt might have to make a reappearance for Valentine's Day this year. Be on the lookout for a Valentine's Day dinner recipes/ fashion / printable on LPF next week in collaboration with the Kitchen Prep!

xoxo, lauren
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Try This Trend: Carry-All Clutches

I never thought I would be one of those small purse people. I always seemed to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my enormous bags. Sometime over the last couple of years, that's changed. I look for something small, compact & colorful to carry the essentials: phone/chapstick/ keys.

I'm pretty much obsessed with this collection of  clutch beauties (one for every day of the week?)

Try this Trend: Carry-All Clutches


Occasionally I'll rock a cross body bag too, but these carry-all clutches are just so perfectly low maintenance that it'd be hard to back to an enormous shoulder bag (My poor back thanks me too)!

Which clutch is your favorite? I can't pick!

xoxo, lauren
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Beauty Remedies

Funnily enough one of the things I took for granted while living in the South was how much easier winter is on your beauty routine. Since living up north, I've had to search Sephora & CVS for all of the perfect moisturizing, repairing, life-saving beauty aids I can add to my medicine cabinet. 

These are a few of my tried & true go-to winter beauty remedies for any ailment from chapped lips to pale winter skin! 

Winter Beauty Remedies

the winter beauty essentials:
 Forever 21 Polka Dot Cosmetic Bag:  I'm totally in love with this polka dot cosmetic bag- can't believe it's only 6.00

 Smith's Rosebud Salve: The ultimate moisturizer for chapped lips & hands- I love that it doesn't have a medicinal flavor & the adorable packaging

Stila Bronzing 10-in-1 BB Cream: I recently bought this instead of investing in a simple moisturizer because it eliminates a step in my beauty routine by smoothing, moisturizing, and bronzing my skin-- BB Creams are a beauty trend that's not going away!

Tresemme Climate Control Finishing Spray: This hair spray combats static- so you don't end up looking disheveled after sporting a cute knit hat

Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo & Conditioner: I swear by this shampoo/conditioner, especially during winter. nothing makes my hair feel healthier & more moisturized

Tan Towels: It's definitely the FL girl in me that struggles to be pale all winter- these self tanning towelettes are much safer than tanning beds, and have a streak-free application

L'Occitane Hand Cream:  I had never experienced dry hands until I moved into a cold weather climate, nothing soothes them better than this ultra lush hand cream

Origins Whipped Ginger Souffle Body Cream:  This Origins body cream has a refreshing scent and is perfect for lathering on post-shower for some dry skin rehab

I seem to gravitate towards products with less chemicals and more natural ingredients-- they always seem to work that much better in the cold winter months.

What are your winter beauty essentials?

xoxo, lauren
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

LPF Entertains: 70's Fondue Night Party

As I mentioned in my winter date ideas blog post, I've been dying to have a fondue night. So on Friday I made an impulse fondue pot purchase at Target, picked up the ingredients and turned on my favorite "vintage cocktail party" playlist on Songza. Kyle helped chop up vegetables and slice bread for dipping while I added ingredients to the fondue pot.

LPF Entertains: Fondue Night

Classic Swiss Fondue Ingredients:
1 garlic clove
10 oz gruyere cheese
8 oz emmentaler cheese
2 tsp. flour
3/4 c. dry white wine
2 tsp. kirsch or brandy
pinch of nutmeg
Classic Swiss Fondue Recipe

Directions:
1. Turn fondue pot to desired setting (mine recommended setting to 200 degrees)
2.Cut garlic clove in half and coat inside of fondue pot, proceed to mince garlic & add to pot
3. Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine (I love sauvignon blanc!)
4. In a bowl, shred the block of emmenteler cheese & add shredded gruyere cheese-- add the flour and mix to coat the shredded cheese lightly
5. Slowly stir in cheese, allowing to melt down before adding in additional cheese
6. Serve hot with french bread, pretzels, cauliflower, green apples (whatever your heart desires!)

70's Fondue Night Party
one of the most fun date nights to date!

Classic Swiss Fondue Recipe
YUM!

70's Fondue Party
french baguettes, pretzels, veggies & granny smith apples make perfect dippers

LPF Entertains: 70's fondue party
fitting the 70's fondue party theme with tie-dye plates & paisley napkins to hold fondue forks

I highly recommend investing in a fondue pot of your own, or trying it in a crockpot or stove top for a fun dinner party idea! We bought supplies for chocolate and were entirely too stuffed after this delicious meal! 

Are you a fondue fan? 

xoxo, lauren
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Inspired by: Beautiful Store Design

As many LPF readers know, I dream of someday owning my own boutique (& digital storefront). For now, it's just a dream, but that doesn't stop me from pinning my favorite store interiors & visual displays away for the future. I wanted to share a few of my favorites and inspiration for a store / coffee shop- the kind of place you'd like to just spend hours exploring.

I seem to be gravitating towards colorful interiors, chalkboard walls open shelving, reclaimed wood & unique displays.I'd love to have a place to share my love of fashion, interiors, styling, blogging passions!

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Cielito Querido Cafe - Mexico

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Dagmar Rousset- Melbourne, Australia

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via Stylespotting.com

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Surf Bazaar- Montauk

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via Think Decor

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via Salvage Life

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 BHLDN in Austin

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Drake General Store- Toronto, Canada

So often when I talk about wanting a brick and mortar presence, people shoot it down saying it's not practical anymore. In some ways it's true, but I just can't imagine not having a physical space to share my creative vision!

 What components of a store would make you want to come & shop a while- and do you have any favorite unique boutiques you've been to?

xoxo, lauren
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Friday, January 18, 2013

As If! Wildfox Couture does Clueless

I'm a total nineties kid. Although I was just a kid during the decade, I grew up living vicariously through Cher Horowitz and wishing someone would just invent her amazing closet app by the time I was a teenager. So, of course when I saw Wildfox Couture's new Clueless themed Spring 2013 lookbook it was love at first sight. 

Any nineties kid will instantly recognize these infamous scenes recreated in Wildfox's new spring collection.

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Wildfox Spring 13 Lookbook

Although fashionistas always said nineties styles would never resurface, you can definitely see their influence in so many current trends. These pieces are all so perfectly nineties when worn together, but  you won't get caught looking like fashion roadkill when they're mixed & matched with something modern.
Latest Lust: Nineties Wardrobe Staples

Okay, time to break out my Clueless VHS & blast my nineties girl power mix tape! 

What's your favorite nineties movie?

xoxo, lauren



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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LPF Cooks: Baked Goat Cheese Marinara

One of my favorite local restaurants has a baked goat cheese appetizer and I swear I'm always craving it- it's absolutely delicious. This weekend I decided to attempt it myself, and was so pleased with how simple, delicious, and beautiful the presentation was. It's the perfect appetizer to make shortly ahead of time for a party and truly looks like you spent a long time preparing it.

Goat Cheese Marinara: Simple. Quick & Delicious Appetizer

Goat Cheese Marinara 
Ingredients:
1 Baguette
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic
2 cups of marinara sauce (I love Newman's Own and Bertolli)
6 oz log of goat cheese
optional: fresh basil to sprinkle on top

Directions:
1. First slice the baguette into small crostinis, brush or drizzle olive oil and minced garlic onto slices
2.  Broil baguette slices on a baking sheet until a golden brown color (approx 3-5 minutes)
3. Slice goat cheese into thick circular slices
4.  In a small oven-safe dish, pour 2 cups of marinara sauce & then layer on the slices of goat cheese
5. Broil for 4-6 minutes until cheese is melted and remove from oven.
6. Optionally, you can add fresh basil to top for presentation. Serve hot with garlic bread crostinis

This is the perfect, quick & easy party appetizer-- I think I will definitely be adding it to my hostess  recipe repertoire!

What are your favorite quick, simple & delicious appetizers to make?

xoxo, lauren
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Date Ideas

Over the summer I shared some of my favorite summer date ideas and I'm back now with some winter date ideas, when it's a little bit too chilly for kayaking (or in my case, the lakes are a little too frozen!). 

It's easy to get stuck in a rut when it's freezing cold outside and all you want to do is stay inside and watch movies, but these ideas are sure to keep the spark alive this winter.

winter date ideas

1. Host a Fondue Night: this is on the top of my list right now (be on the lookout for a future LPF post). Whether cheese or chocolate you can't go wrong-- you can even invite another couple for a double date. (This fondue set is only $30!)

2. Visit a Local Art Gallery: Soak up some culture and check out a local art gallery

3. a Mini Getaway: I am always checking on groupon and living social  for travel deals at nearby hotels and rentals for a mini weekend getaway to get away from it all

4. Skiing: Skiing can be such a great bonding experience, whether you're riding the ski lift together or one of you is learning the ropes-- if all else fails hit up the ski lodge for drinks

5. Stargazing: Winter skies are the clearest time to see stars. So bring your sleeping bag,  download a constellation app, & do a little stargazing.

6. Beer Tasting Night: Any guy would love this! We featured a beer tasting night in issue #2 of La Petite Fashionista Mag-- complete with recipes and tasting guide

What are your favorite winter date ideas to keep the winter relationship blahs away?

xoxo, lauren
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Midwest Style Bloggers

The lovely Maya and I met up for coffee a couple months back and got to talking about how much we wanted to do a Midwest blogger get together. We might not be in New York City or L.A., but it's so great to have a common bond of loving fashion, design, or blogging with people across the Midwest. 

In efforts to network, highlight some of the great boutiques & design across our cities, and help cross-promote, we've formed the Midwest Style Bloggers network! I'm so excited to highlight our often underrated   little corner of the US full of creative minds. We'd love to hold some blogger meet-ups!


If you are blogging from the Midwest or know someone that is and want to get involved send us an email to MidwestStyleBloggers@gmail.com , visit the blog that we'll use to feature Midwest bloggers, and send me your pinterest name so I can add you to a collaborative board!

Whether your passion is interiors, cooking, fashion, or entertaining-- we'd love to have you on board! Let me know your favorite Midwestern bloggers too so we can spread the word.

xoxo, lauren
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

French Press Mornings are the Best Kinds of Mornings

I spent this Saturday morning doing two of the the things I enjoy most, drinking coffee and working on the blog. I am determined to learn how to use my Canon Rebel and took some shots this morning while going through our Saturday ritual of making coffee. On weekends we like to use the french press (& then I proceed to add excessive amounts of creamer).

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There is something so artful and decidedly European about the french press. During the work week I need instant gratification and turn to my Keurig coffee maker. But on Saturdays when you take the time to brew the water, anxiously wait to let the coffee steep and pour your perfect cup-- it makes it taste that much better.
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I can't wait to spend many more Saturdays drinking coffee and experimenting with my new Canon Rebel (thank you a million mom & dad). Does anyone have any great sites they use for photography tutorials and tips? I'd be greatly appreciate it!

Have a wonderful, french press-paced weekend-- take time to enjoy the little things!

xoxo, lauren
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Latest Lust: Beautiful Bookcases

Anyone who follows me on pinterest probably knows that I have a major love of beautiful bookcases. I like to collect design books and I drive my boyfriend crazy by spending way too long perusing the used books section of the thrift store, hunting for treasures.

There are a few key pieces to building a beautiful bookcase besides a fabulous collection of books of course- I'm loving these decor items to dress up the display.  There's definitely an art to bookcase styling!

how to: build a beautiful bookcase

get the look: bookcase via IKEA // ginger jars via C. Wonder // agate bookends via HSN // laquer boxes via One Kings Lane // paperweight via Shop Furbish // elephant figure via Target // chevron frame via Z. Gallerie 

the books: Fashion of the 20th Century // Kate Spade Things We Love // Just Being Audrey // New York Times 36 Hours in Europe // Gypset Travel 

These are a few of the pictures I have saved away for my future home (someday!). I've always wanted to be like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and have a tall ladder and a big library full of books to explore.

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I seriously can't pick a favorite! They're all so bold, bright, colorful & full of little trinkets and decor items to give the bookcases some personality!

What do you style your bookcases with?

xoxo, lauren

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Inspired by: The Great Outdoors

Although so many have flipped the switch to spring-- it's still really freaking cold in Wisconsin. So as much as I'd like to dream about sundresses and floral prints. Being cooped inside all winter has me itching to go outside and explore the Great Outdoors - or at least curl up in front of a fireplace with a good book!


The winter weather outside has me very inspired by rustic imagery; mountains, lakes, and gorgeous log cabins. These pieces all evoked the perfect feeling of being outside in the crisp winter air, packing some hot cocoa & home elements inspired by nature.

Try this Trend: Rustic Chic

get the look: quiksilver sweater // thermos // deer pillow // deer cosmetic bag // ceramic mug // high heeled hiking boots // wood block cutting board // hiking backpack // pine candle // buffalo plaid chair

These pictures are so inspiring- they make me want to take a snowy hike in my own backyard or maybe even just curl up with some hot cocoa and a warm plaid blanket. I am obsessed with the image with the big outdoor entertaining area overlooking the mountains!

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Are you feeling as inspired by these beautiful images as I am?

xoxo, lauren
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Latest Lust: DIY Tassel Garlands

One of my favorite design & entertaining trends are tissue paper tassels.  I love the pop of color & sparkle it can give a buffet table at a wedding or party or a white wall above a headboard. It's on my to-do list to DIY one for my bedroom. 







Are you as obsessed with the tassel garland trend as I am? You can try a tutorial to make one for yourself or easier yet, support an independent designer and buy one on etsy! Hopefully in a few weeks I will have a post with my own version on LPF!

xoxo, lauren
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