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. 

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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 I got it for my birthday!

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

Coker Arboretum

August 14, 2016
It's been a while since I just went and shot some photos, so I dragged my sister out to Coker Arboretum on UNC campus, a location I've been wanting to shoot at for a while. My outfit isn't anything super special, but I really like the uniquity of the black trim found in this basic white tee shirt from Garage. I got this top in Montreal because I've found that I need more basic and "easy-to-wear" items of clothing for back to school. The jeans that I'm wearing are my favorite from Revice Denim, that I wear all the time. 

What's most exciting is my new shoes. I ordered these Adidas Campus' from Urban Outfitters back in June, and they were back ordered so I just got them in the mail. I haven't owned grey shoes since my New Balance's back in elementary school (I was obsessed with those too) and I'm ready to switch it up. Adidas' are a huge trend right now, and I think these are the best way to ride the trend while not having the same shoes as everyone else (ie. the superstars). Thanks for reading & stay tuned, xo Lauren.









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Pür Cosmetics Volume Vixen 4-in-1 Mascara

August 8, 2016

It was time for me to try a new mascara, so when I was in Montreal I ventured into a pharmacy and picked out this one from Pür Cosmetics. Of course, the company is cruelty-free, which is one of my biggest factors in beauty products.

Eating and Shopping | Montreal, Quebec, Canada

August 1, 2016
Yesterday was our last day in Montreal! Even though we only had 3 days, we did so much that it felt like a week! We didn't do as much today, nevertheless, I'm going to share my day with you.

July Favorites

July 31, 2016

This month's favorites post is a bit late and I'm so sorry about that! I overestimated the amount of time I would have to do blog posts while on vacation, and I'm literally typing this on my phone while waiting for the valet to bring the car so we can go to breakfast! 

Style
Steve Madden Nylie Bootie: I got these boots from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because I wanted a pair of taupe booties, but also to wear in Montreal. They've been perfect for walking around the city because they're cute and easy to wear while being comfortable throughout the day as well. I wore them on Montreal Day 1 for the whole day, and they didn't start hurting until after dinner.

Beauty
Sun Bum Sunscreen SPF 30: Most major sunscreen brands test on animals, but Sun Bum doesn't so I bought a bottle before I went to the beach and it worked.



Food
Fruitocracy Squeezable Fruit Pouches: I got these as a joke when my mom told me to go grocery shopping, but I actually love them! It's great sweet treat as well as a way to get my fruits in if I'm lacking them that day.

Chronic Taco: My sister had been raving about this place non-stop, so I eventually made her take me. I loved it and ended up going back the next day. They have options for vegans and non-vegans, so it's easy to take my friends with me as well.

Other
Erin Condren Life Planner: I was SO excited to order this planner when it came out I was on the site all day trying to customize and order my agenda for this year. I'm doing a full post on it soon, so stay tuned for that!

Books: I really enjoyed The Husband's Secret, which I ended up doing a whole post on this book which you can find here. I also liked Flowers for Algernon, which I'm not going to do a post on, but I think is definitely a must-read.

That's all for my favorites this month. Let me know what your favorites are in the comments! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Osheaga | Montreal, Quebec, Canada


I'm sitting in bed this morning trying to get this post done before we head out for breakfast. I'm super exhausted as we didn't get back to the hotel until 1AM this morning, but I think once I get food I'll be much better. Osheaga was a blast, and I'm so grateful I got to go and experience it.

Sight Seeing | Montreal, Quebec, Canada

July 30, 2016

Hi all! If you follow me on twitter you may know that I'm in Montreal for the weekend. My family goes on vacation to a new country right before school starts every year, and this year we chose Canada! The main reason we're here is for Osheaga, the music festival, but unfortunately, we were unable to get the three-day passes, so we're just going on Saturday.

Strawberry Mango Sorbet

July 25, 2016
I just got back from a yoga class that I did with a friend, so to be honest writing this post and looking back at the photos is making me super jealous (of myself 3 days ago) and crave sorbet! I love sorbet in the summer as it's cool and refreshing, without being thick and heavy like ice cream, and of course, it's vegan! This is a super easy recipe that anyone can make (trust me, if I can do it you can) and requires only 5 ingredients! It's also extremely adjustable flavor wise, so you can make it with whatever combination of fruits you like! Thanks for reading and I'd love if you left a comment letting me know what flavor(s) you made! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.



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print recipe

Strawberry Mango Sorbet
Ingredients
  • 1 pound mangos
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
1. Make a simple syrup by boiling the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to cool.2. While the simple syrup is boiling, clean and chop the fruit.3. Mix your fruit and lemon juice in the blender until it is fully blended.4. Add your simple syrup and blend until smooth.5. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe tub and use a baking spatula to fold it onto itself a few times.6. Freeze for at least 4 hours before enjoying.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

Book Talk: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

July 17, 2016

I finished reading Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret last week, and for almost the entire book I was sure that I wasn't going to be writing a book talk about it. Then, I read the epilogue and I was completely thrown for a loop. While I enjoyed the book a lot, it wasn't the type of book that made me think really hard or guess what was going to happen next. It was kind of way that my mind could relax and enjoy the drama without thinking too hard...until I read the epilogue.

NEW BEGINNINGS!

July 15, 2016
Hi! So once again, I've hit the place where I'm not sure what I want to do with my blog! I've loved how it's been for the past few months, but I feel like I've hit a wall and run out of ideas for posts. I feel like a huge part of this is because I've been trying to commit to posting every 3-4 days, and then after 2 months of doing this I'm fresh out of ideas. I think I'm going to reduce my posts to once a week for sure (I'm thinking Sundays or Mondays), and then maybe a second post later in the week (like Wednesday or Thursday) if I'm feeling super inspired.

I also want to talk about changing up the type of posts I do. I obviously love beauty and fashion, and I will continue to do those kinds of posts, but there is so much more I want to talk about that means so much more to me. I love doing posts about travel and books, so I'm going to start doing more of those, whether it means big trips to different countries, or just visiting new places within my state. You may have noticed that I added a bucket list page, and it's mainly meant to serve as a source of inspiration for myself.

That is all I have to say on this subject for now, but I'm super excited to see where this leads me/us! I cannot believe I forgot until now because I'm super excited, but look up at the url!! This blog is officially misslaurenalston.com!! It's been a long time coming, but I'm super excited to have my own domain name, I feel fancier already.

Cheers to 17 years old (my birthday was a few days ago), my own domain, and a bunch of exciting adventures to come! xoxo, Lauren Alston.

Book + Movie Talk: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

July 3, 2016

When I read Me Before You over a year ago, I had no idea it was going to be made into a film. Jojo Moyes' novel moved me in unexpected ways and seeing it on the big screen was (almost) everything I wanted from the film.

June Favorites

June 30, 2016

I can't believe we are already done with June, and essentially half way through 2016! I have a bunch of favorites for this month due to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer!


Fashion
Rompers: Once again I've become obsessed with rompers, as evidenced in my Graduation and Bahamas/Father's Day posts. They are so easy to wear and they are super chic.

Beauty
Pogo Balm: Since I've started using only cruelty-free products, I had to find a new chapstick. As I mentioned a few weeks back I love Palmer's flip balm, but I accidentally gave all of mine away and I couldn't find them in stores near me. I saw this lip balm at Target, and noticed that it was all natural and cruelty-free so I grabbed the true vanilla bean and I've fallen in love with it.

Food
GimMe Organic Sesame Seaweed Snacks: I love snacking 0n seaweed because it's not too filling and it's full of vitamins and minerals.

Postmates: This month I discovered that Postmates has come to my area! If you don't know what Postmates is it's an app where you can order food, among other things, from local restaurants and get it delivered to your house. For me, this is useful because there are few vegan options from places like Papa John's, so now I can order a wider variety of foods. If you sign-up for Postmates, use the code 4dqnh7 on your first delivery for $10 off!

Other
Music: I've mostly been listening to the same music as last month, with the exception of Too Good by Drake & Rihanna from Views and Running Out by Matoma & Astrid S. Lately, I've been loving Exchange by Bryson Tiller.

Books: I read A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, which I enjoyed. It's kind of like a historical fiction drama, but they only historical part is that it's set in the early 1900's, I could easily see the same story being told now.

TV/Films: As for tv, I finally finished Private Practice this month. I really have enjoyed watching the show for the past few months, as I think each of the characters is so different and distinct from other characters I've seen on tv. Film wise I have 2 complete opposites, Finding Dory which was super cute and made my miss being a kid, and The Conjuring & The C0njuring 2 which is strange because I'm not a scary movie person but I really enjoyed these movies.

BoF Daily Digest: This month I subscribed to the Business of Fashion (BoF) Daily Digest which provides super interesting articles relating to the business/fashion industry every day. I love reading them when I wake up and learning a bunch of new, relevant information.

Videos: 2 random videos that I love are Amy Schumer and Anna Wintour Swap Lives from Vogue, and The Hollywood Reporter Close Up The Actresses feat, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, and more. The latter I watched on the plane ride home from the Bahamas, and I was so captivated the entire flight flew by. I love this series and I cannot wait to watch more! Last, but definitely not least, Summer Break! If you don't know, Summer Break is a mini-series on YouTube sponsored by AT&T following the lives of juniors and seniors in LA during the summer. Year after year, I get pulled in by this show and I'm super excited to watch season 4 unfold!



Thanks for reading this lengthy favorites post, I hope you enjoyed! Leave your June favorites in the comments below. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.


*This is not a sponsored post*

Kylie Lip Kit vs. NYX Lingerie Lipstick

June 24, 2016

A few weeks back I did a review of the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, and since I've been wearing it a lot I got the idea from my friends and family to do a comparison with a similar, but less expensive product. A lot of Kylie Cosmetics doubters claim you can get the same product for a fraction of the price from brands like ColorPop and NYX. Since I've been going through an obsession with NYX lip products, I decided to purchase the NYX Lingerie Lipstick and do a comparison.

Bahamas/Father's Day 2016

June 20, 2016

This is our family's 4th year in a row celebrating the summer in the Bahamas, and our 2nd year spending father's day here. In honor of father's day, we spent the day soaking up as much sun as we could in the plethora of pools housed by Atlantis (see cool GoPro vids on my Insta soon: @laurennalstonn)!


In preparation for our trip, I made a few purchases, my favorite being this off-the-shoulder, striped romper from Urban Outfitters. You may have been able to tell from my graduation outfit that I'm obsessed with off-the-shoulder right now, and since stripes are totally in the for summer, and rompers are super easy to wear ~ this piece is a must have (a no-brainer really).

Although it's hard to see in the photos, I paired the romper with a simple gold constellation necklace, my orange espadrille wedges, and my favorite french braids. I wore this outfit to explore the marina village, as well as father's day dinner at Nobu.

I hope you enjoyed this post, leave links with your favorite rompers in the comments! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

*This is not a sponsored post*

Graduation

June 12, 2016

Yesterday was my school's graduation and since lots of my friends were graduating seniors I showed up to support them and see them for possibly the last time in a while. I saw this romper on Lulu's website a few weeks ago and I knew it would be perfect for the event!

I paired my new romper with my Kendra Scott Rose Quartz earrings that I wear for all special occasions (and non-special occasions, they're just my favorites) as well as my gold Kate Spade watch that I wear everyday. As for my shoes, I wore a simple pair of wedges. My black crossbody is from Forever 21.

I love the detail on this romper as well as the fact that it's easy to through on with wedges and appears to be super fashionable and put together. I'll definitely be wearing this romper a million more times in the summer!

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments where your favorite place to get rompers is! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

*This is not a sponsored post*
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