Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Vibes

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"- Ann of Green Gables.
 
I couldn't agree more with this. It's always been one of my favorite months of the year. The change of seasons, the calm before the business of the holidays sets in. We're tentatively talking about getting married next October, so I have a feeling that will make this month even more special to me. This month I've tried to really be present and enjoy the beautiful weather, great company, and of course all pumpkin everything! Autumn in the Midwest is just beautiful.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite fall snapshots and moments. Something to look back on fondly when I'm knee deep in snow and freezing cold in January, right? 
 
Cute polka dot pumpkin & cozy fall sweater

The cutest polka dot gourd from Kyle's moms garden & my cozy patterned cardigan (similar here).
 
Gold fall foliage autumn drive in Madison's Arboretum

A fall drive through Madison's beautiful Arboretum. The forest of yellow foliage was unbelievable! 
 
Fall engagement | Solitaire Ring

In case you haven't seen "the ring" yet. The solitaire cut is beautiful! 
 
Crackling bonfire on a cool fall evening.

A cozy bonfire at the farm one chilly fall weekend.
 
Crunchy leaves & fringe boots.

Crunchy leaves & fringe fall booties (get them here)!
 
Apple orchard '

We made a trip to the apple orchard last weekend- can't wait to make some crisp!
 
At the apple orchard

My wonderful fiancé! Yes, still on cloud nine!
 
But first coffee // pumpkin spice latte

The official start of fall-had to have my pumpkin spice latte!

This weekend we're continuing some engagement celebrations with Kyle's family and celebrating Halloween in our matching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tees (yep, definitely found my soulmate!).

Have a safe, fun & festive Halloween friends!

xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

I love Halloween... the costumes, the candy, the scary movies, the pumpkin carving! This year though, I feel totally behind! Things have been super fun but chaotic with traveling & our recent engagement and we've been busy trying to squeeze all of the Halloween festivities into a couple of weeks.
 
I'm a big fan of DIY-ing using pieces in my closet. If you're slacking on your costume idea this year and looking for some inspiration I've pulled together some easy last minute Halloween looks. As a bonus- everything featured is available for free 2 day shipping if you have Amazon prime, so if you're a procrastinator like me, you still have time to pull together a costume. Also, most of the outfits contain pieces you can actually wear again (double score)!
 
 
DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Chanel Oberlin from Scream Queens
Pale Pink Dress | Pearl Necklace | Round Sunglasses
Rockstar-Style Studded Heels | Pink Fur Vest

If you haven't watched Scream Queens yet- do yourself a favor & watch it! It's pure over-the-top comedy-horror goodness from the makers of Glee & American Horror Story. Emma Roberts plays mean girl & sorority president Chanel Oberlin with her girl gang of "Chanels" as they deal with a killer in the house. Bonus points for dressing your friends up with you.
 
 
 
DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Stylish Swashbuckler
 
 Living in the Tampa area, every year we celebrated Gasparilla, a pirate celebration which includes an invasion of Tampa Bay. It's basically a fun excuse to dress up like a stylish swashbuckler and it's so much fun. This costume likely only requires the purchase a few pirate-themed accessories to get the look. You could also wear the dress & face-paint a day of the dead mask or add witchy accessories to get more mileage out of the look for multiple Halloween parties.
 


 

 
 
DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Wayne & Garth from Wayne's World
 
I get totally nostalgic about all things 90's & have fond memories of watching Wayne's World with my dad. This would make a really simple & fun couples or bestie's costume because you probably have 90% of this in your closet. To complete the look, you should probablyyy repeat "Party on Wayne, Party on Garth" throughout the night.
 
 

DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family
 
Wednesday Addams is a classic Halloween character & her look is really easy to achieve. Throw some striped stockings on with your black dress (layer a collared tee on underneath) & style hair in signature braids to complete the look. To get in the Wednesday spirit, carry around a morbid but glam gold skull. You could also have a guy dress as her brother Puggsley.
 
So what are you dressing up as this Halloween? Don't forget that you can score all of these pieces with free 2 day shopping if you have Amazon Prime (this is totally not sponsored by them, I'm just a huge fan & user of the service)!
 
xoxo, lauren
 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

La Petite Engagement: Our Love Story

It's officially been a week of engaged bliss & I'm excited to tell our story! I try to keep my personal life fairly separate from my blog..  but this is just too big a part of my life not to share! I promise I won't be turning this into a wedding blog, but I will definitely be posting about our wedding planning experience since we will be DIY-ing and budgeting our way through it all. The series will be called "La Petite Wedding" & you can follow my inspiration on Pinterest to get a peek at what I'm loving. Without further ado.. here it goes!
 
Our Hawaiian engagement story!
 
The Back Story: I never expected that life would bring me to Wisconsin. If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that an internship led me to my first job, here in the Midwest, working in the fashion industry. I moved here knowing a small group of people I made friends with during my internship, had relatives nearby and lived in an old tiny 2 bedroom cottage (unknowingly with a major spider problem). I endured my first Wisconsin winter and though I missed my family & friends back home in Florida, this place slowly started to feel like home for me.
 
I met Kyle through a group of friends a couple of times, but didn't get to know him very well until I heard that he had gotten a job in my department at work. I invited him to lunch and slowly we started to become friends. That summer we hung out all the time with our friends- grabbing pitchers at the Wisconsin union, grabbing dinner, and tailgating for Badger games. One day he asked me out on a solo sushi date at one of the nicest places in town. The dinner was great, but it was obvious that there was a deeper connection than just a love of delicious food. We got back to the house and he had a bottle of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge. He acted like it was coincidental but I know now he was just being his thoughtful self.
 
Our Hawaiian engagement story!
 
 Since that first date we've been pretty much inseparable. We bonded over our love of sci fi movies, coffee, and travel. I introduced him to wine drinking & Harry Potter. He introduced me to the excitement of March Madness and hiking I never thought I'd meet someone like Kyle. He's a blend of so many of the qualities I value most.  I admire the sweet and hard-working values and outdoorsman spirit he gained growing up in the country. Equally as much, I love that he's down to try out new cuisines, visit art museums and travel the world with me.
 
His parents welcomed me into the family with open arms and my family did the same for Kyle. We've experienced so much together from Kyle's first trip to Disney (my fav!) to hiking through Park City to the less adventurous (but equally as special) quiet mornings at our local coffee shop. He's also been there for me through tough times and life transitions- from losing grandparents to leaving the corporate world to follow my girl boss dreams. He's a keeper, guys.

Our Hawaiian engagement story!

The Engagement:  After my Nana passed away this year, my mom was inspired to take a family trip to Hawaii to spend some quality time together. Hawaii has always been a special place for me. I've visited twice with my aunt and I've always felt so connected to it- from the tropical floral prints to slack key guitars and travel sights. I'm not sure what it is, but the aloha spirit is something I always keep close to heart. It's my happy place and I was so excited to share it with my family and Kyle!

We started our trip in Maui, venturing through the Road to Hana, Old Lahaina Luau & enjoyed lots of sunsets and tropical drinks (my travel guide here). When we ventured to our next island, Oahu, we stayed at Disney's Aulani resort. It included all of the special details & experiences that make Disney unique and was the most beautiful waterfront location. Stepping foot at the resort instantly felt like paradise.

Our Hawaiian engagement story!

As soon as we got to Aulani, Kyle suggested we book massages at their beautiful spa, Laniwai. I of course, obliged and planned them for our 2nd to the last day of the trip. At the spa and spent some time soaking in the hot tubs, lounging in the relaxation room & drinking pineapple lemongrass infused water. Our couples massage was the best I've ever had. Leaving the spa I told Kyle that I couldn't remember the last time I was so relaxed- something which is admittedly difficult for me to do.

We picked up a bottle of wine for later and decided to eat dinner at the resort at one of their waterfront restaurants. Between the sound of the ukulele in the breeze to the roll of the ocean it was a little slice of paradise. After dinner I was feeling so relaxed I just wanted to cozy up in bed, but Kyle (& my family) convinced me to give in to Kyle's request to go for a walk. Kyle grabbed our wine & some glasses in a backpack and headed down to the beach.

Our Hawaiian engagement story!

As we walked along the boardwalk drinking our wine, I continued to tell him how thankful I was for being able to experience this trip with him and soaking up the view. He kneeled down- I thought to get more wine out of his backpack- and popped the question with ring in hand. It took what seemed like forever for things to "click" and I suddenly realized I was being proposed to. I of course said yes and couldn't shake the feeling that it felt like the happiest dream.

We walked back to the hotel room to share the good news with my family (who were waiting up for us to come back). The night is a blur of elation an relaxation and love. I wasn't expecting it at all. I love that he chose my favorite place and a time surrounded with my family (who all live far away) to share the experience with. I am still on cloud nine- and I hope a tiny bit of this feeling lasts forever. The wedding will be wonderful, but I'm just excited to be married to my best friend and all that the future holds for us.

Thank you for reading the longest post ever! I'm excited to share this whole journey with you.

xoxo, lauren

 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Madden Girl at Kohl's

I stepped off the plane from our Hawaii vacation on Sunday and suddenly fall and cooler weather was unavoidable! While I may miss the balmy breezes of our tropical trip, this is without a doubt my favorite season. From the crispness in the air and crunchy leaves on the ground to layering on sweaters, scarves & cute knit hats- there is just so much to love about this time of year. Now I just have to remind myself to keep up this autumnal optimism once the first snowfall hits!
 
I was excited to hear that Kohl's was teaming up with Madden Girl to launch a chic winter collection. The collection launched in stores this week and when I went in to select a few pieces for this post (and an upcoming outfit post) I was seriously impressed. I actually started my fashion career working in Outerwear (ironic, that a girl from Florida would be working in that category, right)? So, I was super impressed with the quality, flattering style and special details like ruched sleeves & special embellishments that were added into the collections.
 
 
The collection includes outerwear, ruanas, cold weather accessories & winter footwear to pair with it all.  I even made a fun little video wearing few pieces from the new collection available at Kohls.com
 

 
This look definitely has a nod to boho with the black & grey cape and fringe ankle booties. I also paired it with a cute pom pom hat (all available from the new Madden Girl collection).

 
What I'm Wearing:
Grey & Black Ruana: Madden Girl at Kohl's | Black Fur Pom Hat: Madden Girl at Kohl's
Fringe Booties: Madden Girl at Kohl's
 
 
 
 
The ruana is a trend I'm especially loving this year. It's basically a big wrap that you drape over your shoulders & wear open. This one has a fur collar embellishement & drapey fringe. I paired it with this lightweight marled sweater tunic and black denim. The pom hat is perfect for bad hair days (& keeping ears toasty) and these boots are the best because they actually have a hidden wedge underneath the fringe (perfect for my fellow petite ladies)!
 
Stop by the store or check out the new Madden Girl for Kohl's collection online. It's filled with winter wardrobe staples that will be easy to mix and match all season long.
 
xoxo, lauren
 
 
 
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kohl's but all opinions are my own!
 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Maui Must Sees

 First of all, let me give my sincerest apologies for being M.I.A. from the blog for the past week. You see before we left for vacation I had grand visions of a week's worth of pre-scheduled content and posting updates from my trip.. and then we landed in Hawaii. Something about that place just invites you to unplug, spend time in nature and forget about anything you had "planned". I'm so sorry for leaving you post-less, but I promise I'll make up for it with some fun travel tips!
 
I'm coming back from my vacation re-energized yet so relaxed, a little bit tanner, and (spoiler alert!) engaged-- but more on that later! Before my trip I searched long & hard for some cool travel recs in my guide book, Pinterest & memories of previous trips. I decided to give you a few of my favorite tips to fully enjoy all the islands have to offer. I'm starting with our first Hawaiian island, Maui.
 
Hawaii Travel Tips & Packing Guide: Maui
 
 There's probably no better place to start than a few tips for what to pack & how to beat jet lag on the journey over. Even though it was October it was extremely warm (in the high 80's/low 90's), so I regret not bringing more skirts & shorts. I tend to pack a really colorful suitcase when I'm going somewhere tropical.

Hawaii Packing Guide

A few items to add to your packing list:
  • Rashguard - they're packed with sun protection, so they're perfect for snorkeling or surfing.
  • Haviana Flip Flops- You don't have to worry about getting these sandy or rinsing them off at the beach & they come in fun bright colors.
  • Sun Bum Sunscreen- This stuff was a lifesaver in Hawaii. By some miracle I didn't get sunburned through the snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding and beach-ing it; and it smells amazing!
  • Hair Ties- These tie dye hair ties from 6D hairties doubled as fashion in function in hot weather.
Now, I'll share a few of my Maui must-see's for anyone traveling to the island!
 
Hawaii Travel Tips | Lahana Banyan Tree
 
Best Places to Stay: We stayed in Lahaina in a condo rental which was nice because we were walking distance to tons of shops & restaurants. This banyan tree, pictured above, is the center of the historic whaling town. If you're looking for a beach front area try neighboring K'aanapali or Kihei.
 
Hawaii Love
 
Best Shopping Area: Whaler's Village in K'aanapali is filled with upscale shopping to find the perfect souvenirs or Hawaiian print dresses. There's also iconic Hawaiian restaurants like Duke's, Hula Grill & Leilani's located there if you want to watch the sunset on the beach.
 
Hawaii Travel Tips | The best luau on Maui, the Old Lahaina Luau
 
Best Luau: This was my second time at Old Lahaina Luau and for this trip we spent our first night there. It's a great chance to sample Hawaiian fare & the tropical drinks, leis & beautiful hula dancing don't hurt either!
 
Hawaii Travel Tips | Iao Valley Hike
 
Best Hike: The Iao Valley offers easy paved trail hikes that reward with sweeping views of the Iao Needle. It's surrounded by lush greenery, guava & tropical plants. It's always misty and magical- a definite must see!
 
Hawaii Travel Tips | Floating orchid lei on Maui beach
 
Best Shave Ice: We tried our fare share of shave ice on this trip and our favorite was at Ululani's. They have a location in Kahului right near the airport which is the perfect way to get in a tropical mood. Try it local's style with condensed milk drizzled on top.
 
 
 Hawaii Travel Tips | Sunset at Lahaina Harbor
 
Best Place to Watch a Sunset: Kyle & I grabbed mai tais & pina coladas at famous Kimo's in Lahaina and it couldn't have been a more perfect location. Combine those epic waterfront views with live music & tasty drinks and you're in for a beautiful sunset.
 
Hawaii Travel Tips | Scenic drive on the Road to Hana
 
Best Activity: Driving the Road to Hana. This 20 mile road has 600 crazy turns and includes crazy one way bridges and steep cliffs. While it may not be for those afraid of heights or the easily carsick, you're rewarded with beautiful sights and lush scenery. We opted to take a tour this time which was great because we had someone else navigating the roads while we soaked up the scenes. I only regret we weren't able to stay longer to do some hiking.

Hawaii Travel Tips | Fresh Pineapples
 
Best Dinner Splurge: One of my only regrets for this trip is that we didn't make it to Mama's Fish House in Paia. Nearly everyone recommended it and we just ran out of time. I think on my next trip I'd try to find in airbnb in this surf town- it had so much charm!
 
Hawaiian Engagement on Maui Beach
 
The other incredibly exciting part of this trip? Getting engaged! Hawaii has always been a special place to me and saying "yes" to my now fiancé made it even sweeter. I can safely say it was the best vacation ever! Stop by the blog later this week to read our enagement story! I'm on cloud nine!
 
xoxo, lauren

Friday, October 9, 2015

#NordstromMKE

To say that I'm excited about the new Nordstrom opening at Mayfair Mall is an understatement. I have so many memories of making the trip to Tampa with my Gramma, Aunt & Mom for an afternoon of shopping at International Plaza Mall. We started each visit the same way- eating lunch together at Nordstrom and then dressing room fashion shows, trying on whatever caught our eye.
 
hello milwaukee!
 
Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure my love of fashion started with this store. Shopping is never a chore here, it's a fun experience and filled with beautiful clothes and helpful staff. I have the low down on all of Nordstrom's opening week events. You won't want to miss the celebrations!
 
Nordstrom Milwaukee's Opening Week Events
 
Opening Gala and Fashionably Late
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
 
Nordstrom has always focused on giving back to communities that support them. To celebrate their opening at Mayfair, they're hosting two fantastic events the evening of Wednesday, October 21. They are raising money for three local charity organizations: The Links, Incorporated, Cream City (WI) and Milwaukee (WI) Chapters; Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin; and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.
 
The opening gala opening will be held from 6-9 p.m. Guests will sip cocktails, savor dinner and desserts, enjoy live music by solo recording artist Sean Jones, experience informal fashion presentations and shop the season’s best looks before our store officially opens on October 23.Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased online here.
 
 After the gala, we’re hosting Fashionably Late – a first of its kind after party – at the new store from 9-11 p.m. In addition to great music, DJs, shopping, cocktail treats and surprises, there will be food trucks to end the evening serving late night snacks, including burgers, pizza and mac & cheese. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here.
 
Complimentary valet parking is included for both events.
 
Opening Day Beauty Bash
Friday, October 23
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Nordstrom Mayfair is hosting a Beauty Bash for customers in front of its first floor mall entrance. Enjoy complimentary makeup applications, consultations and application tips and tricks from Nordstrom beauty advisers. Customers will also enjoy gifts with purchase, sips and snacks and other fun surprises. The first 1,500 customers will receive an exclusive, reusable beauty tote bag (one per person; while supplies last).
 
Nordstrom Mayfair Store Opening
Friday, October 23
10 a.m.
 
Doors open at 10 a.m.! We hope to see you there.
 
Nordstrom Beauty
 
I also got a peek at some of the new products from the new store. The Nordstrom team was kind enough to send over a box full of curated goodies. It was seriously like Christmas morning. I absolutely cannot wait to explore the store for myself!
 
xoxo, lauren

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Long Bob Hairstyle

After much neglect & lots of pinspiration, I finally broke down and scheduled hair appointment for myself this week. I don't know about you all- but I tend to put myself last on my priority list. Especially when you layer on that along with the small business owner guilt I have over spending money on beauty appointments rather than my business.  I've had my eye on the lob (long bob) haircut for what seems like forever but have been scared to take off too much.
 
One day I just woke up and was ready for the change. We leave for Hawaii tomorrow and I had visions of messy, sea salt infused beach hair and low maintenance locks. I chopped off about 6 inches yesterday at my appointment and feel so mentally & physically lighter. I snapped a few pictures of the new cut, which hits a couple of inches below the shoulders with long layers in the mix.
 
Lob Haircut with long layers
Lob Haircut with Long Layers & Peplum Top
 
Lob Haircut with long layers
 
Lob Haircut with long layers
 
Sometimes, it just takes the tiniest bit of change to help you press reset. I'm still playing around with how I want to style it. I'm thinking a little it of sea salt Beach Babe spray & texturizing cream. Now, I'm ready for a week of rest & relation in the islands! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for a little bit of Aloha in your insta feed!
 
xoxo, lauren


 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Inspiration Board

Another month, another inspiration board! October has already been off to an action packed beginning. Last week, all of our hard work planning & DIY-ing for Kyle's brother's wedding came to fruition. Such a wonderful weekend of celebrations, perfect fall weather and their family barn looked beautiful. Today, I had the privilege of speaking at Madison's Dream Bank about Pinterest. It was so awesome to have so many friends & peers show up for support!
 
The October fun is just beginning. Kyle & I are jetsetting to Hawaii this weekend with my family and we couldn't be more excited. I'm so in need of some rest & relaxation mixed with a little bit of sun, sand & scenery. Other than the intense tropical vibes I'm feeling right now, these images depict exactly what's inspiring me in October. Pale pink, marbled patterns, taking the extra time for pour over coffee, painted pumpkins, misty autumn mornings and more.
 
October Inspiration Board
 
October Inspiration Board:
 
This month makes me want to cozy up in blankets, make some comfort food and go on some afternoon fall drives. To see even more of what's inspiring me- come see what I'm pinning!
 
Over the next few weeks I'll be getting into the swing of Halloween- complete with my favorite, DIY costume ideas!
 
xoxo, lauren

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