Christmas 2016

December 26, 2016

     Merry Christmas! Even though it was yesterday, I'm typing this on the couch while watching Avengers with my brother (it was one of his gifts from me). Today has been such a great family day, and I think it has to do with the fact that we all know that this time next year I'll have just gotten back from my first semester in college. We've all been spending a lot of time together from family breakfast, to movies, to just all being in the same room. My brother woke me up super early to open presents, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite gifts. My big present this year was a Canon T6i camera, which I featured in my Holiday Wish List. I am so beyond grateful to have received this gift and I'm so excited to take some amazing pictures in the future! My brother and my sister also got me a few small things, as well as my grandmother. Again, I'm so grateful to be surrounded my such loving people and also to receive such thoughtful gifts. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and a great New Years Eve next weekend. My next post will be the day after new years, so I'll see you all next year! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.



Holiday Gift Guide 2016

December 19, 2016



      There's less than one week until Christmas, so time is running out to buy gifts for our nearest and dearest. Every year, I struggle to pick out gifts because I either have too many ideas that I can't afford, or I have absolutely no ideas at all! This year, it's been a bit easier than usual, so I decided to create a gift guide. This gift guide is composed completely of gifts that I've given and have been successful or that I've received and loved! Leave a comment with your best gift ideas! My next post will be the day after Christmas, so stay tuned! Xoxo, Lauren.


Target always has cute mugs, and the holiday ones are especially festive without being tacky. I gave my sister this one yesterday as an early Christmas gift, but also as a bribe to shoot some pictures for me. She loved it so much and it was only $5!

Yet another gift I got my sister as a bribe to take pictures, I got her this speaker back in June. My dad has one that my sister sometimes used, but I knew she'd love one of her own. The volume is great and the battery lasts a long time, plus it's small and easily transportable. Aside from Amazon, I know these are sold at Brookstone and Sam's Club.

I got this case last year around Christmas, and I've had it ever since. I loved how durable Wildflower cases are and I always get compliments on my phone case! Everyone has an iPhone these days, so as long as you know what type of phone a person has and a little about their style you'll be able to pick out a case they'll love.

You all know that I love Kendra Scott and while a lot of their earrings are statement pieces, they also have a lot of options that are better for everyday. My mom picked out this style of earring as one of her gifts this year and she's super excited about opening them on Christmas day!

I've had my journal for almost 3 years now, as I got it Christmas 2013, and I love it so much! I'm so glad to be able to look back on where I was at different times in my life and I think it's a great gift to give someone.

My sister and I got this French Press for my mom last year and she loved it. It was something she'd been thinking about getting but I don't think she was expecting it as a Christmas gift. She brought it to work with her to make her daily coffee and now my sister wants one for herself!

The socks I included are ones that my sister got me last year and I love for wearing around my house on the weekend (I'm pretty sure I wore them 3 days in a row last Christmas). I also recommend fuzzy socks or super thick camping socks as gifts. I just bought fuzzy socks for myself, friends, and family in Christmas colors for $1 at Target!

Butter London nail polish is great quality and cruelty free! It makes a great gift, or part of a gift, depending on your price range, because it's too expensive for most people to justify purchasing on a regular basis. A friend of mine got me on last year as part of my secret santa gift and I was super excited about it.

Candles are a great gift because you can get super fancy ones or more inexpensive ones depending on your price range. I love receving B&BW candles because I hate spending @23 on a candle. If you're looking for a gift in a higher price bracket, Diptye is super popular and if for a lower price bracket, Target has great options!

Holiday Wish List 2016

December 12, 2016


     I'm back with my 3rd annual holiday wish list! I started doing this in 2014, and it was helpful for "Santa", as well as my friends and family. I did it again in 2015, and now here we are with 2016's edition. I feel like I have to give the disclaimer that I don't except all or any of these items for Christmas, they're just a few things I have my eyes on. I've tried to include items varying in prices so you can get a variety of ideas for your own wish lists, as well as ideas of what to get friends! Stay tuned for a few more holiday posts this season, xoxo Lauren!

I love this for super cold months. You can wear it to school with jeans and cute boots, you could wear it outside roasting (vegan) marshmallows with your friends, or you could even wear it at home cuddled up on the couch with your favorite holiday movie (mine is the Polar Express)! It's a personalized gift that you could gift your best friend with the guarantee that they'll love it!

This has been on my "to try" list for quite sometime and now that a Lush has been added to my local mall, hopefully someone will get it for me (Mom, Olivia...I'm looking at you two). It's great for the holiday season because that's when the weather is getting cold and my skin is at its driest. I've heard great things about the product and Lush in general!

3. Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR Camera | $699.99
This is the big item I'm asking for this year, and the most expensive thing on my list by far. It's the camera that I've been using to shoot most of the pictures on this blog recently and I love it! It's great quality and I know that I'd get a lot of use out of it.

4. Kylie Cosmetics Camo Creme Shadow | $20
As your probably know, I'm a big fan of Kylie Cosmetics. I currently own Posie K lip kit, as well as her Rose Gold and Copper creme shadows from her birthday collection. I've been thinking about doing some more adventurous eye looks lately, and I have so many ideas for this shadow!

5. Kindle E-Reader | $79
I'm pretty sure I've talked about my love for Kindle before, but if not, I love Kindle. Unfortunately, after 5 years, my Kindle died R.I.P. I really want to get a new one, and I really want the original one not the Kindle Fire or anything just because I loved my old Kindle.

6. Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack | $22
I've heard a lot about Glossier from Nicole over at Empire Styles and also from the owner, Emily Weiss' episode on Girlboss Radio. I've been breaking out a bunch lately and it's made me become more intereted in skincare again. I did some research on Glossier a while ago, and decided that this mask was something I wanted to try!

7. Pixi Lower Lash Mascara | $11
I love the look of long lower lashes but whenever I try applying mascara it smudges and leaves my under eyes looking dark. I'm intrigued by the idea of a mascara just for lower lashes, especially because it has vitamin E which promotes hair growth!

8. Molly Black High Heel Ankle Booties | $37
I've been looking for a new pair of black heeled booties and I found this pair on Lulu's, one of my favorite shops! The heel on this pair is super high which is something I've been wanting and the "leather" is vegan, which as you know is important to me. The reviews are good and I trust Lulu's as a brand so I would love to try these!


Ever since I watched The Hills in middle school, Lauren Conrad has been one of my favorite celebrities. I received both her Style and Beauty books for Christmas' in the past, so Celebrate was a must-add to my wish list!

Book Talk: Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

December 1, 2016

     It's taken me a few days to get back into the swing of things since being off for Thanksgiving break, but I'm finally back! For me, Thanksgiving was restful yet busy. Somehow between stuffing my face with my sister's lasagna and Black Friday shopping into the early morning, I found time to read.

Thanksgiving Dance 2016

November 21, 2016

     Welcome back! I can't believe that November is almost over, which means that Thanksgiving, AKA my favorite holiday, is only a few days away. Until then I'll be cuddled up in my bed every night watch the Thanksgiving episodes of Gossip Girl (everyone knows they're the best) and waiting for the Gilmore Girls revival to be released on Netflix! This past Saturday, I attended my school's annual Thanksgiving Dance. I've been on the committee for the past two years, and since I'm a senior this was my last year to attend. I went, again, with my best friend Kyra; our pictures didn't turn out great so here are a couple I took with my sister before leaving!
     This year, I opted for a romper instead of a dress. It wasn't intentional, I just happened to find a romper that I liked before I found a dress. The romper that I chose, as you can kind of see in the photos, is black with a large ruffle across one shoulder and a thin strap on the other side. The bottom is obviously shorts and it has pockets (so useful)! I purchased this romper from the Topshop section of my nearest Nordstrom. Across the street from Nordstrom is Nordstrom Rack, where they sell out of season style for a really good price. We headed over there to continue looking for our outfits, and that's where my sister found her dress. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a link for that one. My shoes are heels (obviously, I'm barely 5'2"), also from Nordstrom Rack so they were a really good price! I think tey're so unique, but also on trend, because they lace up and have gold tips at the end. The best part is that they're extremely comfortable, and for the first dance in high school I left my shoes on the entire time. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack are great go-to spots when I'm shopping for events because they always have amazing options for reasonable prices.


Dress: Nordstrom Rack

*This is not a sponsored post. I am in no way being compensated by Nordstrom Company.

Girlboss Radio

November 10, 2016

     It's been a while, over two weeks, but I'm back today to talk about something a little different, a podcast. Last October, I blogged about a book called #GIRLBOSS that I had just started reading. I finished it shortly after writing that post and I ended up loving, Sophia Amoruso's story is captivating and well-told, while giving insightful advice about the fashion industry and the world of business. A few months ago, I found out about Sophia Amoruso's podcast by the same name through one of my favorite bloggers, Nicole, who writes Empire Styles.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

October 24, 2016

     The end of October is full of pumpkins; pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks (and everywhere else these days) and carving pumpkins for Halloween. My favorite pumpkin-related food of all time is my sister’s pumpkin pie, but I usually don’t get that until Thanksgiving, which is kind of a shame. This past weekend, I was craving my sister’s pumpkin pie so badly and I was prepared to beg and barter and until she made one, until I realized that her famous recipe is. not. vegan. I scoured Pinterest looking for a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that was as close to my sister’s as possible, and I finally stumbled upon one that I could work with. I changed the recipe a bit to fit the ingredients I had, and I love the way it turned out! It’s still not as good as my sister’s recipe, but it’ll do until I can convince my sister to revamp her pumpkin pie to vegan!






print recipe

Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pie crust
  • 14 oz pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 10 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.2. Combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, salt, cinnamon. Mix well.3. Pour the mixture into an uncooked pie crust and spread evenly.4. Bake for 1 hr, then set in the fridge overnight.5. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 pie

Windy Gap: A Young Life Camp

October 17, 2016

{my squirrlie girlie, Lily|
    Something I've never talked about on my blog before is that I consider myself a Christian. I don't worship God in the traditional sense as far as going to church on Sundays, but one way I do pray is through Young Life. If you don't know what Young Life is, it's a Christian organization that has branches in a number of areas for middle school, high school, and college. We meet once a week as a group to jam, play games, and talk about Jesus; and then we meet again in groups of all boys or all girls to further connect with Jesus and each other. I've been a part of the group for about a year now and I absolutely love it.
     This weekend was my first time attending Young Life camp. The camp we went to is called Windy Gap, and it's located in Weaverville, NC. The weather was gorgeous the entire time we were there, it was so refreshing to exist in the mountains with so many people and no internet or phones. I spent most of my free time taking pictures, some of which you will see below, but most of the time at camp was spent in group activities. We ate together, sang together, danced, together, prayed together, laughed together, and cried together. Our group of Chapel Hill girls grew so close in just 2 days. This weekend I bonded with girls and guys that I'd never met before, but I also learned a lot about myself and Jesus and how to live in faith better. I had one of the best times of my life, so I really wanted to share with you all! Thanks for reading. Stay tuned, xoxo Lauren.









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Pumpkin Patch

October 3, 2016
  
   Today is my good friend Lexi's birthday, happy birthday Lexi ♥︎! This past Saturday, Lexi and I, along with 9 of her closest gal pals, celebrated by going to a pumpkin patch. It such a fun fall activity and the weather was gorgeous, so I couldn't help but take a bunch of pictures! When we first arrived we took a hayride to a corn maze. It was super fun running (but mostly walking) through the corn. From there we rode to part of the pumpkin patch and began our searches for the perfect pumpkin. I wanted a dusty/pale orange pumpkin, and luckily it didn't take me long to find it. At first, I was considering getting a white pumpkin and decorating it with gold paint as seasonal room decor. But, as we all know, DIYs are not my thing so I settled for a classic orange pumpkin. On the hayride back, I realized that I didn't have my phone. So, after setting our pumpkins in the car, my friend Lundy went back to the pumpkin field with me to help me find my phone. Honestly, only I would lose my phone in a pumpkin patch, so shoutout to Lundy for helping me out. Lundy and I returned to the group to find them playing in a pit of corn. We were both skeptical about joining them, to be honest, it reminded me of the sandbox from elementary school and those things are notoriously germy. But, after all, you only live once, and what is life if you can't enjoy jumping in a corn pit with your gals? Then, it was time to go, so we all gathered in a field to take a bunch pictures, as girls do. Thank you Lexi, for such a fun and memorable fall day, and I hope you have an amazing 17th birthday! Xo Lauren.







top: tobi.com
skirt: J. crew factory
shoes: Steve Madden
necklace: MonogrammedFromMeToYou
watch: Kate Spade

ColourPop Lippies

September 29, 2016


A few weeks ago, around Labor Day I think, ColourPop was having a sale. For a year now I've been waiting for a reason to try out their lip products, as I've heard so many great things. With lipsticks priced at just $6, I couldn't resist. In my order, I purchased three lips products and got one for free which was super exciting. I ended up giving the shade I received for free to my sister, it's a great shade but not my style. She wears it all the time and it's gorgeous on her. 

The three colors I chose are Stain, November, and Frick'n Frack. Stain is an Ultra Glossy Lippie, so it's slightly less pigmented. I love it for the transition to fall because it's easy to wear but still darker and purple-y for fall vibes. Layered on top of the other two products it looks great as well. My favorite one to layer it on is November. November is almost a Barbie pink, so it's definitely a look. I cannot describe how it looks layered with Stain, but it's kind of a dark coral and I love it! The last lippie is called Frick'n Frack. It's very similar to November in the tube, but on my lips, it's a lot darker. Frick'n Frack is a mauve that will also be amazing for fall on every occasion. November and Frick'n Frack are ultra matte lippies so they dry matte and last for the whole day, similar to the NYX Lingerie and Kylie Lip Kit which I compared here. ColourPop has exceeded my expectations so I will definitely be picking up more shades sometime soon! Thanks for reading! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.


{Stain Ultra Gloss Lip}


{November Ultra Matte Lip}


{Frick'n Frack Ultra Matte Lip}

Summer to Fall OOTD

September 19, 2016
     So, this Friday marks the first day of fall! Fall fashion is my favorite thing ever and I always finding myself wanting to wear sweaters and boots the day the season begins, but when the weather stays in the 80s well into October, it's not possible. Instead, I slowly transition into fall fashion by mixing my favorite summer pieces with some autumnal accents. This top works well for this look because of the mustard color. The color is versatile, so it can be worn with shorts and wedges during the summer yet also with boots and a cardigan come fall. The off-the-shoulder trend, as many of you know, was my go-to in the summer, and I love wearing it in this in-between season as it's not too warm for the temperature. My jeans are brand new from Urban Outfitters and I didn't get any good pictures of my shoes, but I was wearing my favorite new suede booties that I wore on Montreal Day 3. Unfortunately, I can't find my top online; I got it from a Francesca's outlet a few weeks back, but I'll link some alternatives below.
     As always, thank you so much for reading! Leave a comment below letting me know how you transition from summer to fall. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.



Top (similar options 1, 2)     Jeans     Booties
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bh Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette

September 12, 2016
     If you don't know who Carli Bybel is, look her up on YouTube right now (or after you read this post). I've recently become a big fan of her, not just because of her style and beauty, but also her lifestyle as far as faith and being vegan. When I found out she was releasing a palette I looked it up online and fell in love. I added it to my wishlist, and a few weeks later my brother got it for me for my birthday (thanks, Nigel)!


     I've been using this palette 2-3 mornings a week, and I love the way it looks. It's extremely versatile and can be used to create a new number of looks. Some of my favorite shadows in this palette are shade 2 from the top row and shades 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the bottom row. The inclusion of the four highlights is super unique to me because none of my other palettes have that. I've gotten into highlight a bit because of this palette, and my go to is the third shade.


     Concerning the product itself, I feel like you're getting a lot for the price. At $14, the palette is a nice size with lots of good quality product. It also comes with a mirror, as well as a clear plastic cover that is attached to the palette so it won't fall out. I like the white and silver coloring of the palette, it makes the shades pop and so far it hasn't gotten dirty. The palette itself isn't as durable as the Naked palette, it's more of a waxy cardboard like the Lorac Unzipped palette. But, for the price, I can't complain.


     I think this palette is a must-buy for beauty lovers who like natural or smoky looks. Once again, the palette is extremely versatile and would be great for travel. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Agenda Organization - Erin Condren Life Planner

September 5, 2016
I'm back today to share my annual agenda organization post! You may remember my Kate Spade one's from last year and the year before, and if you've been reading this blog for a really long time you may remember my Lilly Pulitzer agenda from freshman year. Maintaining organization in my agenda is super important to me during the school year, it's the only way I can keep track of all of my extracurriculars, internship events, appointments, homework, and this year, student government.
Early this year, I found out about the planner community through Elle Fowler, and even though I still had a Kate Spade at that time, I was intrigued by it and wanted to join. I watched a lot of Plan With Me videos on YouTube, and in June when the new Erin Condren Life Planners came out I place an order. All the planner's I've ever had have been horizontal, and it was one thing I never liked so I chose the vertical layout. I designed my cover with the honeycomb pattern because I'm obsessed with bees right now, and I chose the white and grey to remain neutral so I wouldn't get tired by my cover throughout the year.

In July, I bought tons of stickers to help decorate my planner, it was fun and I didn't have tons going on. Now that the school year has started, I still enjoy decorating my planner but I don't use half as many stickers as I did two months ago. I know that stickers sound a bit immature for 17 year old, but once you dive into it, it's much for reasonable than it sounds. I also quickly realized that buying stickers weekly was an unnecessary expense and they didn't exactly fit my needs, so a few weeks ago I bought glossy sticker paper and started printing my own.

 A run down of how I use my planner: each week I have a checklist of what I want/need to get done for that week, as well as a checklist for homework assignments each day, as well as a checklist on Sunday for things I need to get done the next week. I also use the sidebar to track chores, such as when it's my week to clean the kitchen, what book I'm reading, and how much money I spend. The weekday headers read "stud gov" for student government, "homework", and "little things" which I used to track my meals, tv shows, deliveries, packages etc. This system works for me because it's visually appealing was well as perfectly functional. I use the monthly view to keep track of long-term assignments, as well as events or appointments that happen in the future. I also use it to write down birthdays and important things happening that month.
As mentioned in my July favorites, my Erin Condren Life Planner has become one of my favorite things. I'm absolutely obsessed with it and I think everyone should have one! Thanks for reading. Leave a comment letting me know what planner you are using this year. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Senior Year

August 28, 2016


Tomorrow will be my last first day of school (except for college, but you know what I mean). It's my first day of senior year, and while I couldn't be more excited, it's also nostalgic. I cannot believe that I've been going to school for 12 years; I still have the excitement for the first day that I've had since 2nd grade. Each first day of school is like the first page of a new chapter in my life. I know this chapter will be full of fun new experiences, like skip day, a prank, and pictures; while it'll also be scattered with stress and sadness from college applications and my last memories living at home with my family. I love the comfort of my home and my family, but I am ready to branch out and experience life without my parents, so I'm soaking up as much time with them as I can in the next year. The first day of school sets the tone for the rest of the year, so I can't wait to walk into school tomorrow with positive energy and excitement. Thanks for reading. Leave a comment letting me know what grade you are going into! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.
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The Best (Vegan) Waffles

August 21, 2016
Today's post was originally going to be a smoothie bowl recipe that I'm obsessed with. I've had it 2x this week, and I even went to the store to get strawberries, kiwi, and banana's to make it looks super cute. Alas, some people weren't meant to cook (or even make smoothies for that matter), because while it tasted great, the texture was off and it looked disgusting. While I was struggling to make a basic smoothie, my sister was behind me making waffles. My sister, Olivia, isn't vegan, but she's been making vegan recipes lately so that I can eat them too (she's pretty cool like that). Her vegan waffles looked way better than my soupy smoothie, so I switched gears and started photographing those instead. I even let her use the fruit I bought to top it. 

As far as the waffles, they are the best ones I've ever had. Let me be clear, not the best vegan waffles I've ever had, but the best waffles I've ever had. They are fluffy and airy and from what I can tell, not at all hard to make. I prefer my waffles with fruit instead of syrup, I don't need that much sugar in the morning; but as you can see in one of the photos, Olivia likes both (I had to run an errand and she picked up the camera to continue shooting photos...once again she's pretty cool). Strawberries are my favorite waffle topping, but blueberries and cherries are also delicious. Olivia also makes a delicious pumpkin spice pancake/waffle in the fall, so leave a comment below and I'll try to convince her to make some and let me photograph them! Thanks for reading, make sure you check out the recipe below. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.








print recipe

The Best (Vegan) Waffles
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
1. Whisk almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl. Set it aside.2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.3. Add the canola oil and maple syrup into the almond milk mixture and stir.4. Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients into a smooth batter.5. Pour 1/3 cup into the waffle iron, and cook until ready.6. Enjoy with fresh fruit and/or syrup.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 waffles
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