Friday, December 16, 2016

From Fashionista to Farmgirl | An Announcement!

I have some very big (& somewhat bittersweet) news! Today I launched a new blog, La Petite Farmhouse, to fit this new season of  life. A place for my new husband & I to create something together. It's been nearly ten beautiful years of blogging at La Petite Fashionista. It never felt right to just rebrand this site. I want to keep this little blog here as time capsule of my last 10 years of finding my voice here on LPF. Thank you for being here, always to support & encourage my dreams! It's been an amazing journey... and we're just getting started.

I thought I'd share the piece that I wrote for La Petite Farmhouse, to tell the story how how I got here.

So here I am sharing my story... the one where I go from fashion blogger to farmgirl! Well, back in 2007, I started a fashion blog, La Petite Fashionista. It was my creative outlet and space for me to share & evolve my personal style. It allowed me to connect with amazing fellow fashionistas and brands I never dreamed of working with! It even led me to major in Fashion Merchandising at Florida State. I ended up moving all the way to Wisconsin for my first internship and later job as a merchandiser when I graduated.

I ended up sitting a few seats away from Kyle in the office. We had mutual friends & I'd bug him to eat lunch with me everyday because I thought he was cute! Eventually we became friends ourselves and realized we had a connection. We had our first date and I was intrigued by his background growing up in a rural area on a former dairy farm. He was instilled with the same work ethic I had growing up with entrepreneurial parents. 

Finally, after a few months of dating he introduced me to his family and took me to his beloved Moon Ridge Farm. You see, what Kyle didn't know was that as a kid growing up in coastal Florida, I always dreamed of living on a farm and wide open spaces. Way back in Kindergarten when teachers would have us draw photos of what we wanted to do when we grew up, I'd draw a big red barn in the photo and proclaim I wanted to live on a farm. So it felt a little bit like fate when I saw it that day.

Years of dating Kyle brought many weekends and holidays out at the farm. I was able to bring my family out there too, and it was easy to for them to see why I loved it there. The farm represented family, tradition, a closer connection to nature, and simpler ways of doing things; a few values that are important to us both.

When we started dreaming about our future together it always ended up at the farm. With his parents living in the farmhouse we never though renovating it would be possible. But, it is! It may not be the easy route for us. We could have bought a starter home a couple of years ago. It's the option worth waiting for. There's no place else we'd rather have as our forever home.

When we got married we knew we wanted it to be at the farm (but more on that later)! Kyle's family spent every weekend preparing the barn & our ceremony spot in the woods for our big day. Kyle built all of the tables for the reception, his mom grew all of the flowers, my friends & family helped come in and arrange flowers, decorate, and make signs. We said our vows among the trees and promised to support each others dreams.

So here we are! After nearly 10 years of blogging at La Petite Fashionista, I wanted a new space that the two of us could share this new season of life. It didn't feel right to just flip the switch on La Petite Fashionista readers, so I built a new Instagram channel this summer, and have been loving building our audience from the start. We are SO looking forward to sharing our journey of renovation- but even more than that, a place to inspire and help you slow down a bit to enjoy life's most important moments!

Come visit our happy little space at La Petite Farmhouse & be sure to follow along on Instagram for even more inspiration.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hilldale Luxe List Gift Guide

Spending the holidays in Wisconsin was a big adjustment for me when I first moved to the Midwest. I had an annual tradition of shopping with my aunt & gramma. We'd make our lists (& check them twice), warm up with some hot chocolate, and shop till we dropped. I was so excited to find Hilldale, a beautiful shopping center when I moved to Madison. It felt like a little slice of home during the holidays. They have all my favorite stores, delicious eateries & amazing service-- so I'm able to start new traditions here in my new home.

I'm thrilled to partner with Hilldale & their stores & restaurants to bring you their luxe list gift guide. A specially curated list of shops & items for every person on your list-- all available locally for all of  my Wisconsin readers! I'll be sharing my picks on the @lapetitefashionista instagram throughout the month of December. All of the pieces featured are available at Hilldale to shop in-person!

Hilldale Luxe List Gift Guide: all pieces are available at Hilldale

Sperry | Their cold weather boots are warm and stylish, making snow days way more enjoyable. Hurray for gifts that are both functional and fashionable!

The North Face | The chic insulated coats & accessories are a must for Wisconsin winters. I love the dusty pastels & cozy textures in their winter collection. 

Michael KorsBring on the sparkle. Glam gifts galore at Michael Kors! From metallic clutches to pom keychains, there are so-worth-it splurges & little luxuries in store.

Mes Amies Dress Boutique | So much pretty holiday party dress inspiration here. The sequin dress & brocade floral coat couldn’t be more LPF! Don't forget about the sparkly accessories to match.

Morgan's Shoes | No holiday look is complete without the shoes! Find something for the entire family here- metallic UGG boots for the kiddies, statement-making suede for her & luxurious leather for the guys.

Evereve | Layer up for winter in a festive faux fur lined plaid vest & colorful cold weather accessories from Evereve. Let their staff help outfit you in head-to-toe warmth and style.

Madewell | A leather clutch made personal with a monogram makes a classic keepsake. The quirky llama bag tag would be adorable attached to the outside of a wrapped present.

Anthropologie | There’s no better holiday activity than cozying up with a good book. Loving this glam throw blanket & a cookbook. Give the gift of comfort AND joy!

Sur La Table | Pair Mexican spiced hot chocolate with a cheery mug and decadent (& made just for Sur La Table) salted caramel toffee bark for the ultimate hostess gift. I personally love the mittens with a flask hidden inside (in token Badger red).

Gigi's Cupcakes | Holiday entertaining is a breeze with Gigi's cupcakes. They taste as good as they look -- and come in a delectable variety of holiday flavors (& gluten free options).

Twigs | Twigs is a beautifully curated (& newly expanded) local shop at Hilldale. I’m currently coveting their gorgeous gifts - from Tory Burch penguin cosmetic bag to luxurious leather Marc Jacobs bag & sparkly bangles.

White House Black Market | Stop into the store to find the perfect holiday party look. These velvety sandals have the perfect amount of sparkle & there's a clutch to match... seriously stunning!

Lucky Brand | I stopped here to check off the guys on my list. Give them a cozy flannel winter wardrobe update & add in a cool keychain bottle opener for post-Christmas chilling.

The University Bookstore | A must-stop for Badger fans. There's a huge selection of game day pieces in trendy silhoeuttes. I love to pick up pieces for m out-of-state family to show them some Wisco love from across the country.

The Home Market | Stepping into this local shop feels like home. Deck the halls for the holidays or gift a locally poured candle or handmade platter.

Infusion Chocolates | These handmade chocolates are works of art and (almost) too pretty to eat. Made with high quality & fresh ingredients, a gift from these local chocolatiers will definitely put you on the "nice" list.

Great Dane Brewing Company | A great local spot to dine on local specialties (don't forget the cheese curds!) -- they also brew their own beer. Pick up a six-pack after dinner to enjoy throughout the holidays.

Kate Spade New York | Kate Spade's store is a colorful feast for the eyes. Shop their whimsical jewelry or paper goods for stocking stuffers, or gift a boldly colored leather bag to the accessory-lover on your list.

Pier South | The southern girl in me has found a little bit of home in Pier South. They carry hard-to-find brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, and Lauren James for the preppy ladies & guys!

Title Nine | Winters sports are made chic in must-have Patagonia jackets, warm Smartwool socks, and beautifully knit sweater dresses. Apres ski just got a whole lot cuter at Title Nine.

Playthings | The kids in your life will love a gift from Playthings - a beautifully curated store full of unique children's toys & games. The fairy door set totally reminded me of my childhood & my cousin's kids would love playing Top That!

LUSH | I love the beautifully wrapped gift sets at LUSH containing their all-natural bath bombs, shower gels, and shampoos. The beauty queen in your life will love seeing one of their packages under the tree.

Motherhood Maternity | Moms-to-be will absolutely have the Snoogle on their list (just google it!). Pamper them with some luxurious & sweetly scented lotion.

Cornblooms | This locally owned shop stocks all of Brighton's best collections & a curated collection of stylish shoes & winter boots. I love how the Swarovski crystals sparkle in this bracelet & necklace set.

Bowl of Heaven | I love stopping in for an acai bowl break at this local spot. So delicious.. so healthy & makes an awesome gift card (my brother-in-law bought me one last year for the holidays)!

Pasqual's | This is my go-to spot for Margarita's in town! For the holidays they've created gorgeous giftable sets of their specially made Tequila & famous seasoned chips.

Ulla Eyewear | Stop by locally owned Ulla Eyewear for beautiful statement-making shades & indie designer frames. I’m digging this necklace that doubles as a sunglasses holder & watch for Kyle!

Which spot are you most excited to shop for the holidays? Madison-area readers & Wisconsin friends, be sure to stop by Hilldale to check out all of their beautiful holiday gifts! You can also follow them on Instagram at @thehilldaleeye to get the latest holiday news!

xoxo, lauren

Thank you to Hilldale for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own!

Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Gift Guide

Black Friday shopping has taken on a whole new meaning for me since getting married! Combining our lives together in a literal & physical sense makes me pause when shopping to make sure it's something worth the investment or a gift I know the recipient will really cherish! 

I love shopping local when I have the chance and try to make my shopping more mindful. Which means less buying just because it's on sale and more buying because it's something I've had my eye on for a while and is a great deal right now!

I've been partnering with my favorite local shopping center, Hilldale, to highlight their stores on the @lapetitefashionista instagram. Keep your eyes peeled for a highlight of my favorite picks from their holiday Luxe List!

Just in time for the holidays, I've rounded up my black friday favorites. Not just great deals (though that's always a plus), but things that won't result in buyer's remorse a few months from now!

black friday favorites

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Picks:

1. Emily Ley's Simplified Planner (normally $58, on sale for $48) | 2. Moscow Mule Mug (normally 24, on sale for $14)  | 3. Quilted Expedition Vest (normally $120, on sale for $72)  | 4. Mid-Century Chair (normally $230, on sale for $184) | 5. Kate Spade Bag (normally $198, now $138) | 6. Statement Earrings (normally $19, now $10) | 7. Cucumber Lotion (normally $15, now 30% off) | 8. Curated Closet Book  (Amazon books are $10 off purchases of $25 or more)

Looking for a round up of all of the best deals? Here are a few of my favorite deals- I'll be updating throughout the weekend!

National Brands:

  • Anthropologie (30% off everything w/ code LETSGO)
  • Gap (50% off everything w/ code TGIF50)
  • Kate Spade (Up to 75% off when you spend $175 or more)
  • LOFT (50% off with code FRIYAY)
  • Nordstrom (Extra 20% off selected sale items)
  • Target (100s of doorbusters  & 1000's of hot deals)
  • Urban Outfitters (BOGO 50% off Clothing)
  • West Elm (15% off $150 or more, 20% off $500 or more)


xoxo, lauren

P.S. My husband & I are getting ready to launch our brand new project. Sign up at to be the first to know when we launch AND get a copy for our specially curated farmhouse favorite gift guide.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Tartan & Velvet

I'm back with a new post and so much has happened since I wrote last! Kyle & I got married and went on our dream honeymoon. I'm also about ready to launch a new project that I'm so excited about I can hardly contain myself! So what better way to celebrate than a new outfit post?

I'm so ready for the holidays and the optimism it brings. My excitement for a cheerier time of year extends all the way to my wardrobe. I've been layering on the tartan plaid, plush velveteen, and cozy sweaters. I've been burning evergreen spruce scented candles & already dipping into the cheesy Hallmark holiday movies. I can't help it.. I needed Christmas to come early this year!

What I'm Wearing: Holiday Tartan & Velvet
Long Sleeve Tunic Top: Tobi  | Burgundy Velveteen Pants: Kohls (similar) | Tartan Scarf: Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Leopard Heels: similar | Monogram Clutch: White House Monogramming | Earrings: Happiness Boutique

This tunic top from Tobi is so ridiculously comfy. It was one of the 5 tops I brought in my carry-on for our two week honeymoon in Italy. It's fitted & slouchy in just the right places. The cozy plaid scarf is the perfect pop of pattern. I love it paired with chambray or to dress down a holiday dress. Lastly, these velveteen pants are a fun holiday hue and change from the denim that seems to be on heavy rotation this time of year.

Are you breaking out your favorite holiday pieces yet?

xoxo, lauren

Monday, September 5, 2016

50 Styles, 50 States | Wisconsin

As a Florida turned Wisconsin girl, one of the things I’ve grown to love most is the change of seasons. I look forward to layering on the sweaters and ankle boots in fall and switching out to sundresses in the summertime! Living in the Midwest has taught me a true adoration for the beautiful surroundings of the state. I’m so excited to partner with Old Navy to share a look inspired by adoptive home state of Wisconsin.

People here love the great outdoors- whether it’s grabbing a local craft beer by the lake and watching the sunset or spending the weekend wandering on a hike through a state park. Versatile pieces to fit that lifestyle are a must. Old Navy is my go-to stop for style that fits every season! I’ve styled a look featuring a few of my favorite pieces from their fall collection.

To see more State style visit & submit your own look using #50Styles50States & #OldNavyStyle.

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

Shop the Look:

The Midwest landscape has a huge influence on my Wisconsin wardrobe. I gravitate towards earth tone neutrals inspired by the forests that spread across our state. I love pairing cozy sweaters with skinny jeans & bohemian inspired accessories. This swing cardigan is perfect for transitioning my look from summer to fall with lightweight layering. 

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

50 Styles, 50 States with Old Navy

Shop the Look:

Old Navy’s September collection is all about juxtaposition. Mixing up texture, silhouettes, and bold colors is my favorite way to welcome fall fashion into my closet. I love that the Midwest fashion belief is that you never need to sacrifice comfort for style. The two definitely go effortlessly hand in hand in Wisconsin!

I’m looking forward to starting fall in style thanks to these perfect mix & match pieces from Old Navy.

What styles are you loving for the new season?

xoxo, lauren

A special thank you to Old Navy for sponsoring this post!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Staying Productive & Purposeful in the Workplace with Paper

I may run a social media consulting business, but the one thing I couldn’t live without in my work isn’t technology- it’s paper! I use paper to help me stay productive and, creative while continuing to learn. I’m proud to partner with the Paper and & Packaging Board – How Life Unfolds ™ campaign to share how paper is an integral part of my small business and day-to-day life as an entrepreneur. Be sure to stop by for even more information about the essential role paper plays in our everyday lives.

I’ve spent the past several months rebranding my business identity, spending what seems like endless  hours scribbling in my notebooks and sketching out ideas for logos. As a creative entrepreneur, my priorities and to-do list change on a daily basis. I’m dependent on paper planners and checklists to keep my days focused and productive. 

I’ve found that a weekly paper planner helps me plan a more purposeful work day. I have a free printable for you to use too! Fill it with your hopes, dreams and to-do’s. 

Download a printable copy here.

Free Printable Weekly Planner

In addition to my weekly paper planner, I try to stick to the below three tips to ensure I have the most productive work day possible. 

1. Avoid multi-tasking. Focusing on one activity at a time, helps you achieve more during the day.

2. Schedule time for activities first- thing in the morning that always seem to fall off your priority list. I try to set aside some time every morning to read while I drink my coffee. Whether it’s an inspiring business book or my latest issue of an interior design magazine, I’ve found that it’s the best way to start my day off on the right note.

3. Cross off completed tasks. Is there anything more gratifying than crossing something off your to-do list? Get creative with colorful pens, stickers and sticky notes. 

Plan your week with a pretty, printable weekly planner

Free printable paper planner to help you design a more productive week!

Another way I use paper in my business is to lift up my peers, mentors and fellow business owners! A business network I’m a part of stresses that “a rising tide lifts all boats." These are words I try to remember and live by. The thoughtful gesture of a personal, handwritten note goes so far in building and maintaining professional and client relationships. Opening up  eye-catching “snail mail” and reading heartfelt words and gratitude, is a truly a day-maker.

Nothing makes someone's day like a handwritten hello & pretty papergoods

Not sure where to start when sending a “just-because” note? Think about someone who has mentored you or taught you something new to help you take your business further. I have an incredible support system of fellow go-getters and ambitious dreamers who have been so generous with sharing their insight and skills. My networking coffee dates turn into voracious note-taking sessions, and I love to return the favor with social media advice and (of course!) a thank- you note. Offering words of encouragement, thanks, and appreciation through a handwritten note or letter is one of the simplest and kindest things you can do.

Pretty paper goods to spread the love & say hello

Another inetgral role paper plays in my business is to help facilitate constant learning. I love teaching myself new skills that I can apply to my entrepreneurial projects, and often times, the first place I look for inspiration is the library or bookstore. My latest pursuit is the art of hand lettering and modern calligraphy. They say practice makes perfect, and while my newfound hobby is far from perfect, I love seeing how, with practice, the lines in my notebooks get a little bit better each day.

Learning the art of handlettering -- practice makes perfect!

I’ve even taken on making handwritten paper place cards for our wedding and embellishing them with a bit of gold paint. I’m looking forward to incorporating more hand-written elements into my business- including a new logo I’m working on and paper goods to match. There is always something new you can learn and be inspired by! I love these tips from the Paper & Packaging Board for lifelong learning.

Handlettering practice, a beautiful art for creative entrepreneurs

On my constant quest to learn, develop, and stay productive as a business owner, paper plays a pivotal role. It’s so much more than a page in a notebook! Paper has the power to influence lives, teach you, and make someone’s day a little bit brighter. 

What’s your favorite way to use paper in your life?

xoxo, lauren

Disclosure: Thank you to the Paper & Packaging Board for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August Inspiration Board | Light & Airy and Organic & Eclectic

Though the past few months have been crazier than ever, there's been no shortage of inspiration. In fact, in between wedding planning, rebranding my blog & business (more to come on that!), and dreaming about our honeymoon travels; I'm feeling more inspired than ever! I've been spending tons of time every week "creating" whether it's designing my website, creating DIY's for the wedding, or cooking up something with our garden veggies. 

I thought I'd share a little bit of what's inspiring me most this month! I'm digging the light & airy with a mix of organic & eclectic. 

August Inspiration Board (L-R):

1. These roses in vintage bottles make for such a stunning seating chart. I love the idea that very simple florals can be so beautiful.

2. Crostinis are one of our favorite things to make for dinner. We love coming up with creative combinations and using up whatever's in the fridge.

3.  I'm all for the bright, white kitchen, but these eclectic floor tiles make a serious statement.

4. We can hardly believe that we're 40-ish days out from our  honeymoon. Julia of Gal Meets Glam's Italian itinerary is giving me major wanderlust.

5. Lately it's been way to easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. I love this reminder to embrace the everyday "magic"

6. Something about these embroidered floral jeans totally reminds me of something I had in middle school, but I can't help but love their boho babe vibes.

7. I can hardly believe we've managed to keep our herb garden thriving all summer long. These basil, grapefruit & lemongrass cocktails are definitely happening before I switch to pumpkin beer!

Here's a peek at what's on my shopping wish list right now:

What's inspiring you this month?

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wedding Inspiration | Rustic Modern

One of the most fun aspects of wedding planning has been choosing the décor. We've been making as much as we can (perks to having a very handy husband to be) and trying to be thoughtful whenever we choose to buy anything. The mindfulnesss that we try to practice in our every day life has extended all the way to wedding planning. We try to think about if it's something we'll use again in our future farmhouse's interior design or be able to resell or repurpose down the road.

The rustic modern style we adore has been an easy choice for our wedding design. When you're wedding planning think outside of the box for your décor. We've found great pieces anywhere from craft stores like Joann & Michaels to Target, Amazon,  Etsy and even the thrift store.

I've pulled together a few of my favorite rustic modern décor pieces that will be just as stylish in your home as your reception space!

Rustic Modern Wedding Decor

Get the Look: Rustic Modern Wedding

My favorite Wedding Décor Resources:
BHLDN | Michaels | Etsy | Minted | Anthropologie | World Market | Amazon | Target

We're super into organic natural looks, rustic wood, and a little bit of boho for good measure. It's going to be a really fresh look inside of Kyle's renovated family barn- rustic but not country. I think our wedding will be a total reflection of our personal style, filled with cozy personal details. I seriously can't wait to show you how it all comes together in October!

Get a look at all of our wedding inspiration on our Pinterest Board, La Petite Wedding!

xoxo, lauren

Want to see the details from our actual rustic modern wedding on Kyle's family farm? Head to our new blog, La Petite Farmhouse!

Friday, July 15, 2016

July Update // La Petite Fashionista

If you're wondering where the heck I've been for the past month I thought you deserved an update! I took a mini blogging break and am feeling super refreshed and SO excited about all of the things going on right now. Thanks so much for sticking around friends!

Life Lately for La Petite Fashionista

(top middle photo by: Laurelyn Savannah Photography)

Do you ever feel like even though there are many amazing things going on in your life that you're kind of stuck in this weird in-between phase! While the idea of not knowing "what's next" is a little scary, it's also thrilling. Right now, I'm just going with the flow and enjoying the adventure.

I thought I'd share an update on the latest life happenings and what's coming up on La Petite Fashionista!

  • Lots and lots (and lots) of Wedding Planning: Surprisingly, I haven't been super stressed out during the wedding planning process. Quite opposite actually; I'm having a ton of fun organizing all of the little (and big) details- from growing our own flowers to thrifting for milk glass vases for the tables to choosing our first dance song. Kyle's taking on the biggest job of them all- building wood farm tables for our reception. I'm counting down the days until October 1st!

  • Planning our Honeymoon Itinerary: Right after the wedding we're whisking off Italy for 2 weeks. I'm already dreaming about the wine, pasta, and exploring each of the cities with my future husband -and of course.. what I'll be packing!

  • Sweating for the Wedding: With the wedding 80-something days away, we're both kicking our workout routine into high gear. I have a planner filled with barre classes and we've been trying to grill veggies every night for a lightened up supper.

  • Launching a new Blogging Project: I have a new blogging/brand project in the works. I'm excited for La Petite Fashionista to evolve as I enter the next phase of my life journey.. a tiny sneak peek here. Kyle and I are going to be renovating his family's 100-year old farmhouse. We've been spending almost every weekend out at the farm getting ready for our wedding and reno. It's definitely my "happy place" (I've been posting lots behind the scenes on snapchat @ lpfashionista).

  • A Simplified Summer: I've really been trying to balance our "to-do" list with summer fun! So far this summer we've had lots of first time Wisco visitors which I've loved showing around my city- from pitchers at the terrace to shopping on State street. We also spent a weekend camping at friends. I absolutely loved cooking each meal over the campfire and watching the fireflies at night. Our garden is overflowing with herbs and Kyle loves mixing us up mint vodka lemonades- straight from the garden!

What are you most interested in reading about on LPF? 

Hope you're having an amazing summer! 

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

LPF Travels: Sonoma, California

As part two of my travel recap of my trip to California I wanted to share the details of my visit to Sonoma and wine country with my mom and sister. I could hardly believe that wine country was only a short drive over the Golden Gate bridge away. Soon, you've reached the rolling hills, vineyards as far as the eye can see, and small town charm of Sonoma

I already can't wait to go back! It reminded me so much of the farms that dot the Wisconsin landscape- just replace the dairy cows with grapes and wine tasting!

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | wine tasting, hotel & restaurants

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | wine tasting, hotel & restaurants

Gloria Ferrer Vineyard in Sonoma, California

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | sparkling wine tasting at Gloria Ferrer

A flight of sparkling wine for a tasting a Gloria Ferrer Vineyard

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | lavender at Matanzas Creek Winery

Gorgeous lavender in a watering can- taking this inspo home with me!

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | scenic gardens at Matanzas Creek Winery

Lavender fields & outdoor gardens at Matanzas Creek Winery

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | Lodge at Sonoma

The Lodge at Sonoma Resort & Spa was amazing! They did nightly wine tastings in the lobby from local wineries and had the most gorgeous outdoor pool. Such a serene space!

A travel guide to 24-hours in Sonoma, California | Flowers at Sonoma Lodge

Flowers at our lodge in Sonoma.. I couldn't stop snapping photos!

Then, we checked into the Lodge at Sonoma, which was one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed! The design was drop dead gorgeous and the grounds were covered in beautiful, fragrant flowers everywhere you turned. We called an uber to take us to Buena Vista Winery, one of the oldest wineries in California. Our uber driver was a nice old man who blasted Frank Sinatra and told us stories about wine country- pretty epic! We enjoyed a flight by the fireplace in their cozy, lodge.

Then, we headed back to the lodge to change for dinner, but not before catching their nightly free wine tasting (are you sensing a theme here?) featuring a local vineyard. We headed to Sonoma's adorable town square for dinner at the Harvest Moon Café, which featured a menu full of fresh local fares. I wish we would have spent more time in the downtown area. There were tons of adorable local boutiques and restaurants, but they were closed by the time we were done with dinner!

They had a beautiful outdoor area at the resort with lounge chairs and heaters by the pool. So, mom, my sister & I grabbed one more glass of wine and enjoyed some girl talk. I can't tell you how nice it was to spend quality time with them both since we all live across the country from each other!

We wrapped up our short an sweet visit to Sonoma with a trip to Matanzas Creek Vineyards. Despite the rain, this vineyard was so stunning. The lavender fields were quite grown in while we were there but the gardens and outdoor patios and seating made you want to sit down & stay for a while! I've never been much of a Chardonnay gal, but tried a glass here that had me rethink.

It was such an amazing trip & I'd love to go back and explore this area some more! Special thanks to @laurenabrenner for all the recs!

xoxo, lauren

Thursday, June 2, 2016

La Petite Wedding: Saying "Yes" to the Dress

This has been one of the most crazy but exciting times of my life! Wedding plans are in full swing and I have to say- I'm enjoying planning more than I ever thought imaginable. I've always loved planning events- adding special details and DIY touches. So our wedding is the ultimate event to plan. 

Kyle has been an amazing help in planning all of the details. We're savoring every little decision from our first dance song to which invitations to choose. I'm so thankful to have a partner in life and love who knows how much joy it brings me to have him be involved in our big day. He even helps me hunt for vintage milk glass vases on the weekend!

I thought today I'd share my wedding dress story, because it's one of the parts of wedding planning where I really felt like wedding pressures and bridal expectations came into play. I want to share some tips that will make the wedding dress shopping fun & memorable!

7 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips for Brides to Be

1. Wedding dress shopping is personal. Never feel (or let someone make you feel) as if you need a certain budget or look to your dress to be a bride.

This is something I never really thought about until I was trying on dresses! From the start, I knew that I wasn't going to have a $2,000 budget for a wedding dress. We're budgeting $10k-$11k for our entire wedding, so it just felt a little over-the-top for a dress I was only going to wear one day. I found a dress that I absolutely love for $500 at BHLDN and never once felt like I was sacrificing style for budget. Side note- I didn't cry.. and I'm 100% okay with that (.. though my mom did via FaceTime). Let go of the feeling that there is a certain way you need to look. A perfect wedding dress is perfect because of the way it makes you feel.

2. Try on dresses on in your go-to silhouettes and a few that put you out of your comfort zone.

 It's so easy to watch "Say Yes to the Dress" and feel like I need a corseted mermaid or princess-y dress to look like a "bride" but when it came down to it- that look just wasn't me! I tried a few on and just looked like a kid playing dress up or found that some of them were just unflattering. I'm 5'0", curvy and was literally drowning in some of the silhouettes that I tried on. It's so helpful to go in with an idea of what flatters your body type. I typically look best in dresses that are fitted at the waist for my hourglass figure. I was surprised to end up with a dress that I never would have picked on the rack!

3. Bring a group that you trust to be your cheerleaders (not critics!).

My mama actually wasn't with me in person when I tried on dresses (but I brought Kyle's mom). I made an appointment during a trip to Chicago and wasn't really planning on finding anything, but ended up finding the perfect dress We facetimed my mom during the entire appointment, which was so fun! I'm pretty sensitive and my mom & future mother-in-law know that- so they were cautious to offer advice on their favorites, but not say anything to make me feel self-conscious. Make sure you tell your bridal party or in-laws in advance if you want them to tread lightly or give you brutal honesty. If you love a dress and they don't.. don't let it be a dealbreaker!

7 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips for Brides to Be

4.  Do your research on bridal boutiques.

There are so many places to buy a wedding dress- from local independent boutiques to big box stores, to specialty off-shoots of big brands. Check out their websites & social media channels, and read reviews of the store. I chose to do my wedding dress shopping at BHLDN, Anthropologie's bridal store, which has a few physical locations throughout the country. I knew it was the right fit for me when they had me submit my wedding Pinterest board along with appointment request! It was an incredible experience filled with personal customer service, beautiful private rooms to try on dresses in (with good lighting & mirrors), and a wide range of silhouettes and pricepoints.

5. Be firm on your budget.

Weddings get so expensive that it's easy to start justifying an extra hundred.. err thousand dollars. Try to go in to your appointment with a clear idea of how much you're looking to spend. Avoid trying on dresses that are WAY out of budget. You don't want to fall in love with something only to find it's twice what you're able to spend. Be open minded .. if you're on a tight budget look at clearance dresses or simpler silhouettes that can be dressed up with sashes, veils, or accessories.

6. Bring the right undergarments & accessories.

This one was so crucial! I hate strapless bras but knew that a good (or bad) one could make or break how a dress fit. I splurged and bought an extra supportive style from Victoria's Secret and it made all of the difference as I tried on dresses. I also picked up a pair of comfy, nude shaping underwear that really smoothed things out and offered subtle control. It's seriously a bride's best friend!

7. Put your best foot forward.

What do I mean by that? Wedding dress shopping can be nerve-wracking and stressful. Start things off on a good note by helping you feel like your best self. Go get a blowout or apply some faux tanner (earlier in the week) to feel like an extra glam version of yourself. Grab a glass of champagne with your favorite ladies if bubbly puts you in a  lighthearted mood. Listen to your favorite music that puts on a smile on your face.. anything that sets the good vibes in motion!

I hope my tips help you if you're getting ready to try on wedding dresses (or going as moral support with a friend)! If you have any questions at all, feel free to tweet me!

To read all of my "La Petite Wedding" Posts click here.

xoxo, lauren

Want to see the details from our actual rustic modern wedding on Kyle's family farm? Head to our new blog, La Petite Farmhouse!

Monday, May 23, 2016

She Did It Her Way Interview

I was absolutely thrilled when inspiring girl boss (& friend!), Amanda, of She Did It Her Way asked me to be on her podcast. I think so often, we look from the outside in at bloggers and business owners and just see the pretty Instagram photos. You don't hear the story and struggle behind the brand and the steps they took to get there. That's why I love her podcast so much. It's just as much about the journey as the business itself!

Take a listen to my podcast where I share the story of taking the leap from fashion merchandising to social media consultant at Social Media With Style. I chat about the changes in direction I've taken and the goal of giving myself grace when things don't go exactly as planned! If you're a fellow dreamer or perfectionist, I think you'll be able to relate to my story.

You can also listen to the episode on iTunes or Stitcher!

I'm so thankful for the support of my small business journey from friends, family & blog readers alike. I'm so honored to be a guest on She Did It Her Way; a podcast filled with interviews with so many of the entrepreneurs I respect & am inspired by! 

Working with other business owners to help them grow their social media presence and define their brand aesthetic has been an absolute dream. I can't wait to see where we take things!

Interested in working with me in a social media consulting session? Check out my She Did It Her Way episode page for a special deal!

Have a question? Tweet me!

xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Weekend in San Fran

Finally, a new blog post! Life has been extra busy (but oh so fun) lately! My sister's been living in San Francisco for the last year and I finally had an opportunity to go visit her with my mama. I wasn't sure what to expect before I came to SF but I absolutely fell in love! It had a really laidback vibe, was easy to explore, and didn't have a "big city" feel. The architecture and landscaping had me stopping in my tracks to snap photos constantly. The beautiful pastel Victorian buildings and colorful florals were breathtaking.

My sister took us to all of her favorite neighborhoods, foodie spots, and shops. We walked everywhere and nothing beats a midday Smitten ice cream treat after conquering all those hills. Her neighborhood, Russian Hill, was one of my favorites we visited along with Hayes Valley. I loved watching the cars wind down Lombard Street and the foggy views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I wanted to share a few of the highlights of our trip (my next post will feature our mini roadtrip to Sonoma). We visited so many amazing spots during our extended weekend in San Fran and they're just too good not to share!

A foggy view of San Fran's Golden Gate Bridge

Foggy views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Flowers and sightseeing in San Fran

My sweet mama & I- such a treat to spend Mother's Day with her!

Colorful San Fran Floral Market

The colorful flower markets on the streets of San Fran.

 photo san fran jane on larkin_zpswjkrkcws.jpg

The BEST breakfast at Jane on Larkin-- black jasmine rice porridge.

Hot Pink Hydrangeas

All of the colorful flowers, greenery & succulent plants everywhere made me smile!

Pastel "painted ladies" victorian architecture in San Fran

The famous "painted ladies" of San Fran- though they're everywhere in the city!

A must-stop for foodies in San Fran's Hayes Valley- Smitten Ice Cream

A must try for your visit- Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley. I tried the Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Brown Sugar Caramel & Cookie Dough Bites.. still craving this treat!

Curvy Lombard Street in San Fran 

The view from the twisty, curvy Lombard Street.

Gorgeous architecture in San Fran

Gorgeous architecture, everywhere you look!

The Marina neighborhood in San Fran

The Marina neighborhood- beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge & a Sunday farmer's market for fresh produce & flowers. 

My San Fran Must-Do's:

Coffee / Sweets/ Restaurants
  • Smitten Ice Cream- Made to order ice cream, prepared with liquid nitrogen (seriously, the best I've ever had)!
  • Wrecking Ball Coffee-  An awesome local roaster, don't miss a #pineappleselfie in front of their famous Rifle Paper wallpaper.
  • Blue Barn- This restaurant has a couple of locations around the city and is a great spot for super huge sandwiches & salads prepared with local ingredients.
  • Saint FrankA coffee shop with a cool, modern minimalist design. Try the pour-over!
  • Philz Coffee- Don't miss the iced mint mojito coffee- they have several locations around the city! I totally want to recreate it at home.
  • Sugarfina- The famous candy store, Sugarfina, has a brick and mortar presence in San Fran and it's just as colorful and glorious as I'd hoped it would be.
  • The Dorian- This experience feels more like stepping into a cool mansion than a restaurant. Stop by their beautiful gilded bar for a craft cocktail or share tapas style plates.
Shop/ Do / See

  • The Marina- Take a walk down for some beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a stop at the local farmer's market. 
  • Ghirardelli Square-  Stop by for a free chocolate sample as a reward for the hike up all of those hills. One of my favorite local shops was located here as well- Jackson & Polk.
  • Maker & Moss- I was obsessed with this interior decor shop filled with rustic modern goodies and all the P.F. candles a girl could want.
  • Azil Jewelry- I was super impressed with this tiny storefront's on-trend and affordable selection of handcrafted jewelry.
  • Lombard Street- Drive it if you dare, but better yet, take a hike down its steps and take in sweeping views of the city and the beautifully landscaped road.
  • Ferry Building- If you're a foodie this is a one stop shop to bring back some souvenirs. They have tons of locally sourced food & gifts here- including my favorite, Cowgirl Creamery.
We definitely didn't have time to do or see everything I wanted to. I think I'll just have to plan a return trip, fiance in tow. A special thank you to my mom & sis for the wonderful & adventurous weekend together. Allie, you make a wonderful tour guide! Though we live thousands of miles apart I feel so lucky to have the both of them in my life!

xoxo, lauren
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