Saturday, January 30, 2016

La Petite Wedding: Bridesmaid Gifts

When I first got engaged, one of my initial thoughts was "how am I possibly going to be able to choose between all of my friends for bridesmaids.. no seriously.. I'm going to have like ten bridesmaids". Which let's be honest, for our little cozy & rustic chic nuptials, would be a bit overkill. After discussing it together, Kyle and I decided we'd just have our siblings be our groomsmen and bridesmaid. 

I was so nervous that my closest girlfriends would feel let down by my decision, but they were so incredibly supportive. I stressed to them that I still wanted them to be with me getting ready (mimosas & hair braiding anyone?), have special recognition (seats by the front during the ceremony). Most importantly, I wanted them to know how much I love and appreciated them. I just want them to make it up to Wisconsin to enjoy this special time with me, no bridesmaid dress necessary. 

I learned that in the South they call this tradition a "house party"- it can be a great way to include and honor a large group of friends and family without having an enormous wedding party. When I was home over the holidays I gifted my girl friends a few fun & festive bridesmaid gifts and let them know, "I can't say I do without you"!

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My Bridesmaid Gifts:
  • Gold Sequin Hangers: My friend Rachel of Glitter and Bow makes these amazing sequin hangers (in gold & silver). My girls were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over them and I seriously can't wait to take cute photos of our dresses hanging on them the morning of our wedding.
  • Macaron Lip Gloss: My girlfriends know I have an affinity for all things French these cute "macarons" are actually lip glosses (I love these mini macaron cases too).
  • Rifle Paper Co Notebooks: I love having these notebooks around & they're the perfect mini size. This particular floral print was actually the inspiration for our wedding color palette of burgundy, blush & pine.
  • Capri Blue Mini Jar Candles: These candles smell absolutely amazing. The mini size is perfect for gifting and fits the cozy chic vibe of our October wedding. 
I also wrote notes on these sweet botanical floral cards thanking them for being the best & asking them to be a part of our day!

I've also rounded up a few of my favorite ideas for bridesmaid gifts.

stylish & thoughtful bridesmaid gifts for your favorite ladies

Stylish Bridesmaid Gift Ideas:

I'm so incredibly thankful for my friends near and far. After five years of living in Wisconsin, I'm just really excited for everyone to make a trip to the Midwest and enjoy the place I've come to love so much & be with me while I marry my dream guy. I'd love to hear any of your fun ideas for a relaxing & fun wedding morning. I'm thinking coffee & mimosas, a fun playlist & pampering with my favorite ladies!

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!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Inspiration Board

January is one of my favorite months of the year. It presents a fresh start, new goals, and a different energy. Despite the snow on the ground, this month has me thinking about organization, healthy meals, and making plans- whether it be for future travel adventures, life and business goals, or new opportunities.

This month's inspiration board represents exactly that- a refreshing take on the Winter months. Dreary days energized with color and a zest for life.

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January Inspiration Board:
1. White Peach & Rose Lemonade- the perfect Valentine's Day drink or Bachelor night! | 2. Mint Green Console & Plants: I have this image saved as the perfect pop of color in an all white/neutral space. | 3. Rach Parcell's Kitchen- I'm a teensy bit in love with the farmhouse sink, marble counters & of course, colorful rug | 4. Smoothie Bowls- I have what seems like is an entire board dedicated to the tasty & beautiful smoothie bowl | 5. Denim Skirts- Kind of loving this 90's era look right now | 6.  Nail Polish Organization - I love that you can see everything on display, but it's organized neatly. | 7. "Be All There" Print - This quote is pretty much my 2016 goal | 8. Cake Batter Popcorn- This is definitely happening this weekend | 9. Turqs & Caicos: Blue ocean & blue skies are all I can think about when there's snow on the ground

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest to see everything that's inspiring me lately!

Wondering what's on my shopping wish list this month? Look no further:


One last thing- be sure to checkout the podcast my fiance & I were featured on last week- Our First Drink! We had a great conversation about wedding planning, our goals to renovate his family farmhouse & what it's like dating a blogger!

What's inspiring you this month?

xoxo, lauren

Monday, January 25, 2016

5 Ways to Work Out at Home w/ Gordmans

I'm teaming up with Gordmans to share how I stay fit & moving! In the Winter time I can feel super unmotivated to venture out into the snow and cold to hit the gym. So, I've found a few at-home workouts that I love and motivate me even more (& some are even free). 

Even if I'm working out at home, I love to wear something colorful, functional, & comfortable. These fleece lined leggings I'm wearing in both looks are my new favorite thing. They are so warm and cozy- equally as perfect for winter walks as indoor yoga sessions. The spacedye hoodie has handy thumb holes for keeping workout gear in place. The best part? Gordmans activewear is friendly on your wallet too. None of the pieces I'm wearing cost more than $20!

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As I mentioned, I've been able to find some amazing home workouts. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. Feel free to shoot me a tweet if there's one I should check out!

5 Ways to Work Out at Home:

1.  Barre3 Online: I love taking barre classes in person- but at $10 a month, it's a bit more affordable and works with my crazy schedule to subscribe to their online workouts.

2. Take a Walk with a Friend: I like to get my fiance on board for some exercise to take a walk around the neighborhood. We spend so much time oogling all the pretty houses & talking about our days that it barely feels like exercise.

3. Tone It Up: I've always adored Karena & Katrina of Tone It Up and the inspiring community of women they've created. While  they do have a paid programs, they offer a ton of free content and videos showing you how to get a great workout from anywhere.

4. Blogilates: Cassie from Blogilates feels like a friend motivating you all the way through your workout. She even has a handy calendar to download with workouts for each day of the week to try. (My tip: schedule them into your planner to make them a priority)! 

5. Take Workout Breaks: If you work from home like me or dread leaving the house in the evening, get some extra exercise in by taking 10 minute breaks for crunches or stretching throughout the day. Watching the Bachelor? During commercials, do squats or sit-ups to stay moving!

Now, I'll share more about the workout gear I'm wearing from Gordmans!

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What I'm Wearing:
Racerback Pink Tank (similar) | Fleece Lined Leggings (similar) | Sports Bra (similar

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What I'm Wearing:
Spacedye Turquoise Hoodie (similar) | Fleece Lined Leggings (similar) | Sports Bra (similar

 photo gordmans hoodie stretch_zps006zh8xc.jpg

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I'm a true believer that cute clothes lead to more workout motivation. Let's be honest when it's cold and dreary outside, I need all of that I can get! With wedding planning underway, I want to look and feel my best more than ever. I'm excited to share some progress and stories throughout the year with you.

Thank you to Gordmans for outfitting me with the fun & functional workout gear. Want to see even more activewear inspiration? Head over to these blogs too:


xoxo, lauren



Disclosure: This Post was sponsored by Gordmans but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hip Etsy Home Decor Finds

I always love buying handmade when I have the option. It always feels great to support the movers & makers who have the same entrepreneurial dreams I do. The Rising Tide Society has been introducing so may creative people into my life! As I've alluded to a few times on LPF, Kyle & I are in the process of getting ready to renovate his family's 100-year old farmhouse (hear more about it on our new episode of Our First Drink).
Obviously we're a little ways away from decorating our home, but I've already found a treasure trove of goodies on my wish list from Etsy. Seriously guys, they're killing the home décor game. There's so much to love if you're trying to design a cozy but hip space. I've rounded up a few of my favorite unique and seriously stylish finds below:




 
Etsy Hip Home Décor Pieces:
1. Adventure Print- Earth and Fleur | 2. Wood Makeup Organizer- lessandmore |3. "SPF" Apricot & Soy Wax Candle- Let's Put a Bird On It | 4. Macrame Wall Hanging- Le Petit Moose | 5. Kilim Style Rug - Skandihome | 6. Ceramic Planter - Wapa | 7. Porcelain Ring Bowl - Red Raven Studios | 8. Ceramic Coffee Storage- Claylicious | 9. Metallic Leather Pillow- Grida Studio | 10. Geometric Pendant Light- Deadhedron | 11. Chunky Knit Blanket- A Cozy Bit of Knits | 12. Geode Watercolor Print- Julie Song Ink


Cozy winter Vibes

Here's a peek at our struggling succulent plants & Hibiscus + Acai candle from Let's Put a Bird On It. Whenever I'm burning this bad boy it takes me right back to our Hawaiian engagement. This winter has been SO cold that we seem to have a candle burning constantly to give our place a cozy vibe. Needless to say I'm looking forward to spring time!

Do you have a favorite Etsy shop for home decor on your radar? Spill the deets please!

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 Ways to Prep for an Engagement Party


When my mom mentioned she wanted to host an engagement party for Kyle & I in Florida I was immediately on board! It's always challenging to try to meet-up with friends and family for coffee dates & dinners when I'm only home a couple of times a year. I also knew I had to find the perfect dress & do some prepping to look and feel my best for our party!

I knew that an engagement party would put me and my fiancée at the center of attention, but it was a total whirlwind (in the best way). We posed for a million pictures and telling the story of "how he asked" to everyone. Thankfully, my mom had booked a blow out for me the morning of our party.  I also had been using Crest 3D Flexfit Whitestrips which came in handy since I'm pretty sure I didn't stop smiling the entire party.

I wanted to share a few of the ways that we prepped for our engagement party. Hopefully this list will come in handy for my fellow brides to be!

 Photo by: Pamm & Nick Mandalou

5 Ways to Prep for an Engagement Party:

1. Take Steps to Look & Feel your Best: Don't try to pack all of your beauty prep into the day of the party. Start teeth whitening 2 weeks early for pearly whites in all of your photos. As I mentioned, I tried out Crest 3D Flexfit Whitestrips  before our party & was impressed with the subtle but noticeable difference (plus, it's a whole lot less expensive than professional whitening.. which means more money for wedding savings)! My sister gave me a manicure & pedicure a few days prior and my mom treated me to a blowout on the morning of our party!

2. Find The Perfect Little White Dress: I had been hunting for a little white dress to wear to our party and stumbled upon the one I ended up with on super sale. It's funny but wearing a LWD actually make you feel like a bride! My mom let me wear my nana's pearls which was so special.

3. Send Invites:  We opted to send digital invites (from Paperless Post). I love being able to track RSVP's through their site, but Minted makes a gorgeous printed invitation. Both offer really stylish and customizable designs.

4. Buy Thank You Notes: We were overwhelmed by kindness from the guests at our party- such thoughtful gestures and heartfelt cards. I picked up a sweet set of cards to send thank you's!

5.  Take a Moment for Yourselves: Between the two of us, I'm much more extroverted than Kyle typically is. As amazing as it is being inundated with love and conversation with friends, I knew it was important for us to take a moment for ourselves. We had a chance to sneak away to sip champagne & share a few laughs and wonder how we got so lucky!


An hour a day of whitening for 2 weeks was a really easy step to add into my normal beauty routine. I will definitely be doing it again for our big day in October. (You can find them at any local drugstore or mass retailer)!

 A few of my engagement party must haves




I'm enjoying this engagement time more than I ever thought I would. Though the wedding planning process has had its stressful moments, so far it's just been a lot of fun. We've been trying to take time to enjoy the moment and where we are at this place in our lives. I'm excited for our future together!

 xoxo, lauren



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What I'm Saying Yes to This Year

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm working through Lara Casey's PowerSheets. It's a super-thorough workbook and thought process for goal setting and designing a more intentional year (for anyone interested, you can pre-order a 6 month set here). It's been so insightful digging into what I really want most out of life from relationships to career and everything in between.
One of my biggest reflections from 2015 was that there was not enough hours in the day.. every single day. It was glaring that I was exhausting myself chasing perfection and trying to do it all.
Sharing my thoughts on a more intentional 2016 & Lara Casey's #PowerSheets
One of the inital steps in the PowerSheets process is to identify what you're saying yes to this year- so you can make room for what's most important to you! I wanted to share a few of the things I'm saying "yes" and "no" to, and I'd love to hear your list. I'm very focused on cultivating what matters and trying not to sweat the small stuff. As Lara Casey says- little by little, progress adds up!

What will you say yes to this year to focus on the big picture?


A few of the lessons I learned while reflecting on last year were- I can't do it all, it's great to seek advice from your network but even more important to trust my gut, and there's no shame in struggle- the road to success is not always an obvious one!

I thought about the things that fire me up- love, helping people, creating, adventure, connecting, early mornings and great cups of coffee to name a few.

I thought about what I'm saying YES to (& staying accountable about it by writing about it here): more unplugged evenings, making and creating, focus and organization, cultivating new friendships in the creative community, travel, reading more books, healthy body and mind, learning new things, and living simply.

In order to say yes to what's important, these are the things I'm saying no to: time sucks (i.e. mindless scrolling on Instagram), comparison & self-consciousness, trying to do it all, prioritizing social media over date night, and worry over things out of my control.

Though we're only a couple of weeks into 2016, I already feel like I'm on the way to more purposeful year. I know with wedding and future home planning things will get a little crazy, so I'm glad I can identify what's most important to my happiness!

What are you saying yes to this year?

xoxo, lauren



Friday, January 15, 2016

Glam Winter Sequins

Something about dreary weather makes me want to pull out the sequins and pink lipstick. It's like a rebuttal against the winter blues! This sparkly sweatshirt kind of makes my day whenever I wear it.

I'm not going to lie, this week has been exhausting. As hectic as things have been, if I pause to think about it- it's also been filled with so many wonderful things. Kyle & I were interviewed for Our First Drink, I've started working on a re-brand, and I have an upcoming small business marketing workshop at Dream Bank (sign up for our free webinar here)! This year is inevitably going to have its stressful moments while we plan for a wedding & save for a house.

I feel like it's more important than ever to keep it all in perspective. Is anyone else trying to do the same? I'm pretty sure when all else fails, just add sparkle!

Glam up a winter outfit with a sequin sweatshirt
Gold sequins & faux fur vest with pink lipstick
 Style a cozy faux fur vest with a sparkly sequin sweatshirt.
A pop of hot pink accessories and sequins.
Sparkle and cozy faux fur.
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What I'm Wearing: Glam Winter Sequins & Faux Fur
Sequin Sweatshirt: Shop 6pm (similar) | Faux Fur Vest: Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Black Jeans: Paige Denim | Pink Purse: Kate Spade NY (similar) | Pink Lip Gloss: Butter London

Lately I've been loving the athleisure, sports luxe look. I've noticed especially if I'm running errands I start to gravitate towards throwing on some sporty chic New Balance sneakers with my denim or throwing on a cozy but glam sweatshirt like the one I'm wearing in today's outfit post.

What do you do to ward off the winter blues?

xoxo, lauren


P.S. As I mentioned, I'll be speaking on a panel about marketing trends for small businesses on 1/26- sign up for the free webinar here! I'm so excited to share my tips for Pinterest and Instagram!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Beauty Must-Haves

Winter weather can be brutal to your beauty regimen. The sub-zero temperatures lately have not been helping my dry hands and chapped lips. Now that it's my 5th winter in Wisconsin, I've finally come to terms with the fact that I can't use the same products I did growing up in the South. The frigid weather calls for extra moisturizing to battle the harsh wind and temperatures. I've also tried to start using a face & eye cream in the morning and evening with added SPF.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite winter beauty facial & beauty products and how I incorporate into my daily routine during these cold months.
  
These beauty & body products are lifesavers during the cold & dry winter months!



Winter Beauty Must Haves:

1. NEST Body Cream: NEST has the most beautiful branding and packaging. A bit pricey, but my mom gifted me a gorgeous set! It's paraben free, filled with botanical extracts, and it's fast-absorbing- perfect for a quick post-shower moisturizing when it's freezing.

2. Josie Maran Argan Oil The organic argan oil moisturizes and hydrates skin. You can also put a couple of drops into your bathtub for aromatherapy. I like to put a couple of drops on my wrists and when days get stressful just take in the Hawaiian scents and take a couple of deep breaths.

3. Bobbi Brown "Extra" Facial Oil: This is perfect if you get dry skin in the winter. Just a couple of drops makes skin look more vibrant and glowing without feeling greasy. 

4. Aveda "Dry Remedy" Hair Oil: This stuff is an absolute lifesaver when my hair's been hiding under slouchy beanies or getting stressed out by the cold. It gives hair that just-been-to-the-salon feel & eliminates frizz!

5. Beekman Boys Goat's Milk Lip Balm: I love the Beekman Boy's farm meets fashion lifestyle. Their lip balm is all natural (no synthetic fragrances) & the goat's milk is super moisturizing for dried lips. I love the "Wondermint" balm.

6. Philosophy Miracle Worker Rejuvenating Cream: I've been using this daily to moisturize and combat aging. Though I'm only 26, I've definitely seen my skin already starting to change thanks to growing up and spending most weekends in the Florida sunshine. It also has added SPF 30 protection!

7. Helping Hands LUSH Hand Cream: This chamomile & cocoa butter cream is super thick and moisturizing. It truly works when my hands are hurting and chapped because I forgot to wear my gloves outside (whoops!). 

Have a product that's your trusty companion during the winter months? Please share!

xoxo, lauren



Sunday, January 10, 2016

15 Easy Ways to Save More Money

Saving money has become a way of life the last couple of years. As a small business owner working freelance jobs and workshops income can be somewhat unpredictable. The biggest reason for saving is that Kyle and I are saving up for a renovation of our future farmhouse home AND a wedding! It can all be overwhelming.

I'm definitely not an extreme couponer (though if you are.. teach me your ways!), but, we've come up with a few creative ways to save money that don't take much extra effort at all! I thought I'd share a few of my favorite tips for those who are trying to put away some extra savings. My biggest splurging weaknesses are probably healthy food & coffee!

Trying to save a little bit more money each month? I'm sharing a few of my favorite simple way to budget & save!


1. Sign up for Mint, a free personal finance app to set a budget & track your spending. It's equal parts terrifying and gratifying to see where your money goes each month. Or, if you're more of a pen and paper kind of girl, check out this cute Budget Notebook to plan your budget & help you pay off debts.
 
2. Head to the Thrift Store. It's one of my favorite places to find unique décor for our home (sometimes all it needs is a coat of spraypaint), new books to read or coffee table books to display, and every so often a designer label fashion treasure.

3. Get rid of Cable. We use Netflix & Hulu Plus in lieu of cable and honestly, I don't miss it one bit. I'm never lacking a new show to binge watch! If you have a roommate it's even more affordable!

4. Search for coupons & promo codes before making a purchase online. My favorite resources are Retail Me Not & Coupons.com

5. Throw spare change in a piggy bank (I love this version) & use that as your Starbucks fund. Did I mention I love coffee? 

6. Attend free local events or venues. Madison always has something going on whether it's live music, gallery nights, or cultural festivities. We love finding fun, unique things to do.

7. Sign up for E-Bates to earn cash back when you shop online! So much yes.

8. Ask for gift card as presents. Kyle & I love to spend our date nights trying out new restaurants, but eating out gets really expensive. So, for the holidays we asked for a gift card for our local restaurant group so we can put the money towards savings instead. 

9. Shop during sales. If I am making a non-necessity purchase (i.e. anything other than groceries & the essentials), I try to shop during sales to save the most. I love the Shopami app which manages all of your incoming sales directly from your email inbox.

10. Have Friends Over for Potlucks. It's not always necessary to play hostess and make & buy all of the food and drinks for friends. Instead, choose a theme and have friends all bring a dish to contribute & their own alcohol. We've had grilled cheese nights, grill outs & bacon night!

11. Sign up for Amazon Prime. Not only do you get free 2-day shipping on millions of Prime items, but you also can access Amazon Prime Instant Video.

12. Meal Plan. Spend a couple of hours on Sunday planning out your meals & make a trip to the grocery if necessary. It means you'll be less likely to let food go to waste or need to order food delivery because you "literally have nothing to eat" (we know we've all been there)!

13. Go to Matinees & Cheap Movie Nights: Like I mentioned, even though we're trying to save we love a good date night. Instead of heading to the movies on Friday or Saturday night we'll go to the  bargain $5 Tuesday showing or a morning matinee.

14. Use Store Shopping Apps: If you frequent a store consider downloading their app for extra savings. Some grocery stores make coupon-ing extra easy by letting you scan them directly from your phone. I'm a big fan of Target's Cartwheel app. Lord knows I'm there enough!

15. Barter & Trade with Friends: Consider trading services with friends to help you both save more money. For example, if your friends a stylist & you do social media consider having her help you organize your closet in exchange for your marketing expertise. Or better yet, set up a clothes swap with stylish friends to trade your favorite pieces.
What are your favorite ways to save money?
 
xoxo, lauren

Thursday, January 7, 2016

6 Busy Girl Tips for A Healthier 2016

When it came to trying to manage my health & wellness in 2015 I think there were some highs and lows. The highs: I discovered barre3 classes & developed a new love for morning smoothies & breakfast bowls. The lows: A whole lot of excuses and not prioritizing fitness and too many trips to Culvers with my lovely fiancé.  This year, with a wedding coming up in October, looking my best is definitely top of mind!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips that come in handy during those especially busy days. I also wanted to gush over one of my new favorite wellness resources & girl crushes, Prescribe Nutrition!

Life gets busy, but these tips will help you have a healthier new year!

 This year I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I want to set realistic goals- among them having healthy snacks on hand and planning out time for exercise daily. Am I the only one who's 10x more likely to work out when it's scheduled into my day?

Swap out soda for kombucha as a healthier alternative!

1. Swapping out Soda for Kombucha:
I'm not a huge soda drinker but for those moments of weakness, kombucha (fermented & fizzy fruit tea), is a great swap. Though it can be high in sugar too it has some definite health benefits- they're packed with probiotics! During cocktail hour you can even use it as a mixer.

Grab a granola bar for a healthy snack that will help you feel full & happy!

2. Granola Bars on the Go:
Sometimes I don't have time to make a delicious & healthy breakfast or my tummy's grumbling in between lunch and dinner. Granola bars (KIND & Luna Bars are my favorite), especially those packed with protein & fiber keep me full and happy. Because, if I miss breakfast... I'll be one hangry girl!

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3. Drink Warm Lemon Water:
 One habit I'd like to start is Hot lemon water before bed or first thing in the morning. It's said to have powerful health benefits- like aiding digestion, helping to flush out toxicities, and can even help with weight loss. (P.S. Who else is reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)?

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4. Indulge Wisely:
I'm going to indulge, so I'll at least try to at least try to indulge wisely! For me that means choosing a glass of heart-healthy red wine and a square of dark chocolate over my usual sauvignon blanc and ice cream. It's the little things, right guys? 


  photo healthy tip drink more water_zpsb7qhvue8.jpg

5. Drink More Water (& Use Natural Skincare Products):
I'm pretty sure it's a yearly goal of mine to drink more water. I usually have a glass at my desk but get so caught up in whatever I'm working on that it's 10 am & all I've had is 2 cups of coffee. Funnily enough, one way I actually do drink more water is when I have a super cute water bottle at my desk. This one from S'well is hot pink & keeps water super cold (but I also love the colorful BKR bottles). Side note, I've also swapped to almost entirely natural/organic facial products and my skin's never felt better!

Prescribe Nutrition's program is perfect for maintaining & developing a healthier lifestyle.


6. Join an Online Program for Accountability & Healthy Recipes:
As I mentioned, I absolutely love what the ladies of Prescribe Nutrition stand for- wiser lifestyle choices rather than temporary diets, education about the power of healthy food, and a great support system.

They're kicking off their Prescribe20 program on January 11th and I feel like it's the perfect experience for someone like me- anyone looking for a holistic & realistic and gradual approach to a healthier lifestyle! I'm SO looking forward to getting started. It's so refreshing to find kindred spirits who share similar views about nutrition! Use code LAPETITE to get 20% off the program!

What are your favorite ways for daily healthy "wins"?

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stylish Organization: 2016 Planners

I couldn't be more excited for 2016. We're getting married, I'm launching some exciting new things with my business, and I am trying to focus on the big picture. I've been trying to be extremely thoughtful about the way I plan out my year's goals and the steps I need to take to reach them. Lara Casey's Power Sheets have been the biggest help in figuring out what I'm saying "yes" to in 2016.

I live in what I like to call "creative chaos". My mind is always in a million places and one of the few things that keeps me on track is my trusty planner. There's just so much going on and there's no way to keep track of it all without having it written down. This year, I've chosen Emily Ley's Simplified Planner which maps each day out hourly, has a sidebar for to-do's and offers inspiration and goal setting along the way.

I'll be sharing a few of my tips for using my planner, but first I wanted to share a few of my favorite  planners for keeping you organized in style this year. There's a big range in prices depending on your needs- and a lot of them are on sale right now!

Calling all girlbosses! Organize in style with these colorful chic planners

 Stylish Planners: Organize Your Agenda in Style


Emily Ley's Simplified Planner with Gold Foil Pineapples

 As I mentioned, I'm pretty in love with my Emily Ley Simplified Planner! If you're one of those people who loves making daily to-do lists you'll adore it because it allows you to map out your day in hourly increments to stay on track. I also love the uplifting daily quotes &colorful tabs that make each month easy to navigate to. Also, the gold pineapple cover.. need I say more. If you have your eye on one act fast, because she's almost sold out for the season!
Tips for being more organized with your planner in 2016!

I just wanted to share a few of the ways that I like to stay on top of things & organize with my planner:
  • Mark Down Important Dates: family & friends' birthdays, anniversaries- and if you're the snail mail type write a reminder the previous week so you can get it out in time!
  • Schedule in "Me" Time: whether it's reading a book, a massage, or yoga class.. make sure to make self care and R&R a priority
  • Inspirational Quotes: If your planner has room in it, write a daily uplifting quote or mantras to keep you going on the toughest days (head here for inspiration).
  • Carry it With You: It's the quickest way to make sure you don't have conflicts when trying to set up meeting times with potential clients or co-workers.
  • Use a Great Pen: This is going to sound ridiculous, but I love writing with a great pen. This set from Poppin is my absolute favorite.
  • Highlight Your Accomplishments: But seriously- I get so much joy highlighting something off my to-do list. It's just so gratifying!
  • Keep Track of To-Do's: If you don't finish something on your to do list, add it to the next day's to make sure you don't forget about it.
  • Be Realistic: The best way to keep your planner from overwhelming you is to only add what is realistic to achieve.. You'd much rather end the day feeling accomplished from getting everything done than stressed out over how much needs to be done.
If I can leave you with one thing it's to give yourself grace. 

We can't do it all and do it well. So this year, I'm focusing on what will make a difference and the biggest impact and trying not to stress over the rest!

Tweet:
  
How do you stay organized?

xoxo, lauren




Sunday, January 3, 2016

La Petite Wedding: Designing a Wedding Inspiration Board

One of the most fun things about planning a wedding as a creative entrepreneur is the ability to apply so many of the things I do day-to-day to planning for our big day. Of course I have a wedding Pinterest board, "La Petite Wedding", but also have a private board for sharing ideas among my future husband (since he'll be building a lot for our wedding).

One of the most helpful things I've done to narrow my vision for the wedding is create an inspiration board & color palette. Let's face it- though Pinterest is wonderful, it can also be overwhelming. It's been great having a go-to inspiration board graphic that I can store on my phone, refer to, and use with vendors to help convey my vision for our wedding day ceremony and reception.

I'm going to share a few tips to help you create an inspiration board for your wedding as well!

A how-to for designining a wedding inspiration board to refer to and share with vendors to convey your vision for the big day!

Below, is a peek at the inspiration for our wedding, which will be at Kyle's family farm this fall. We're looking forward to pulling in a lot of the natural details and include nods to both of our families history and traditions, and a romantic rustic woodland vibe.

Rustic Woodland Wedding Inspiration Board & Color Palette
Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6


How to Design a Wedding Inspiration Board:

1. Start with Pinterest: Either on a secret or public board, begin collecting ideas. No need to stay within a certain theme at this early stage. Invite a trusted friend or relative to help gather inspiration if you're feeling overwhelmed by the process.

2. Gather Inspiration: Reading magazines and blogs can be helpful for this too. I'm obsessed with all the inspiration in Southern Weddings magazine- because it can be so much more relatable than some of the others I've seen on the newsstands.

3. Begin to Refine your Vision: Your wedding venue may be helpful in defining a theme or mood for your wedding. But, also keep in mind that it doesn't have to limit you. Just because you're having a reception in a barn doesn't mean it can't be modern and sophisticated. Or on the flip side, a hotel ballroom reception can still feel casual and rustic.

4. Determine What Your Gravitating to Most:  Are there any particular vibes or color schemes you're seeing pop-up in many of your photos or that make you feel especially inspired? This is a great starting place for your mood board. For example, maybe it's botanicals and florals in a colorful array, or maybe its a little bit of metallic glitz and glam. Can you close your eyes and envision it? It may be a good time to run things past your fiancée if you're including them in the planning process.

5. Create Your Inspiration Board Collage: Save 6-10 images that convey the look you're after for your wedding day. They will feel even more cohesive if they share a similar color story. Here's the how-to for creating an inspiration board, no Photoshop necessary.
  • In PicMonkey's collage feature, open the images, arrange as you please & save as a .jpg file.
  • Next,  open the image again, add a large frame around the image. Select "shapes" and use the eyedropper to add colorful circles to display your wedding color palette.
  • Add you & your fiancée's name or a wedding hashtag/ wedding date below the image
  • Crop any extra white trim from the frame and voila!
As you share with any potential vendors, do keep in mind that it's purely inspiration. Keep your budget top of mind, but know that your inspiration board can be a great tool to let them know what you're looking for. For example, I know some of the flowers in my inspiration image may be out of budget or not in season, but I can at least show the color palette I'm looking for.

If you're starting the wedding planning process just like me,  feel free to tweet me with your ?'s and check out my last post for the newly engaged!

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!

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