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!

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