my favorite long sleeve tee



top: Old Navy (similar)
skirt: Madewell
boots: Target (similar)
scarf: H&M (similar)

you know that one shirt that you have in your closet, the one that is your current favorite? everything is right about it. the fit, the color, the feel...everything. this charcoal tee from old navy is that shirt for me right now. and i found it on clearance for like $6, which makes this whole thing even better. 

i may or may not be a little nervous to wash it for fear that it will forever be changed and no longer be my favorite tee. 

the question is: how many times can i wear it before it is no longer socially acceptable to not wash it? 

1,000,000,000,000? oh, perfect. thanks for your help. 

high five for friday



so, i don't have photos for you because i don't have my laptop with me on my family vacation. which means that you'll just have to hop over to instagram and check what's been going on with me this week.

overall, it's been a great one. christmas celebrations, quality family time, lots of good food, and skiing. can't really complain.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

so, i have this thing...

1 . 2 . 3 . 45 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 

...for gold. i can't explain it. i just want everything in that beautiful, metallic goodness. nail polish? yes. skinny belt? duh. salt cellar? why not. 

so, gold and i are officially in a serious, committed relationship and i see it getting pretty serious. and fast. just thought you'd like to know. 

merry christmas!

wishing you all a very merry christmas! and just want to let you know that i'm thankful for you! 

my family is headed out to CO today for a ski trip and probably a little bit of fun. with that in mind, i'll only be posting a couple times over the next week. the high five for friday link up is still happening, though! 

here's to taking a much-needed vacation and spending some time on the slopes! 

merry christmas eve!

merry christmas eve! i'll be spending my day with lots of family and definitely eating too much. it wouldn't be the holidays without a slightly tighter pair of skinny jeans, right?

hope your day is full of love and christmas spirit!

high five for friday

1. a little collection of some of my favorite quotes and verses that i put together this week.
2. girl's night with my roommate.
3. duke game with my man!
4. this growing collection of Essie nail polish.
5. my new favorite scarf from Target.

how was your week? link up below and tell me five of your favorite things!

neutrals strike again

 pants: Gap 
black top: Old Navy (similar)
chambray: Target (similar)
necklace: Target (old)


it's borderline alarming how neutral my wardrobe is. i'm fairly certain i would be diagnosed as a chromophobe...if that was something that was diagnosable. also, is diagnosable a word? it could go either way.

like, for example, this outfit. the only color is in a bracelet. and what's funny to me is that i would almost feel uncomfortable wearing color. it's sick, i tell you. just sick. especially because i know that some colors really brighten up my face and bring out those green eyes of mine.

so, this is my official call for help. who knows a good doctor that can cure me of my problems and make me see the light, er, color at the end of the tunnel? more likely, who can point me in the direction of a piece of clothing that has color that i must own?

all help is welcome. seriously, guys.

don't feel like you actually need to help. i don't really know what you can do, other than to tell me that all of my outfits lacking color are terrible and ugly. wait...don't do that. 

who He says I am

i've been working through Beth Moore's study on the book of James, called "Mercy Triumphs". this is my first time doing one of her studies and i've really enjoyed it. i like working through a book of the bible, answering questions and actually thinking about a passage, instead of just reading it and moving on. if you're in the market for a good study, i'd definitely recommend this one. it can be done individually or with a group.

anyway, as i was working through a day in week four, i came across something that really stood out to me. there was a list of things that we, as christians, can place our faith in. and one of them was this:

i believe that i am who He says i am 
and not the numbing sum of Satan's accusations

something about it just struck me. the truth that i am who my Creator made me to be, not what the world or my own self-doubt or insecurities tell me i am. i feel pretty confident in saying that we all have our share of things that we maybe don't particularly love about ourselves, whether it's physically or personality-wise. and, honestly, we'll probably always have them. but, hear me on this, they do not define who we are or how God sees us.  when God looks at you and me, He sees his creation. something that He made with a distinct and perfect purpose, a plan, a story to be told. He didn't make a mistake when He made you. in fact, He made you with precise detail, even down to the number of hairs on your head (matthew 10:30).

there will always be a lie to believe. an insecurity to blame. a list of things that we wish we could change about ourselves.

and there will always be the Truth that God created you with a purpose, for a reason. He made you and He loves you, wants you, pursues you, longs for you. He looks at you and sees His creation and everything beautiful about it. and He wants you to see that, too.

GIVEAWAY // Peter Norman Jewelry

Offering an array of handcrafted jewelry and custom designs, Peter Norman is a renowned destination for handcrafted rings, jewelry, colored jems, appraisals and jewelry repair. Whether seeking an exclusive handcrafted custom ring, fine designer jewelry, any diamond in any color small or large, or other precious gems, you will be treated like "gold."

For over 27 years, Peter has been creating and offering exceptional pieces from the same location in beautiful Brentwood, California, while he offers the warmth and comfort of a neighborhood boutique, he is nationally renowned and fulfill the wishes of customers from all over the United States and Europe.

Peter's specialty includes extraordinary engagement and wedding rings, his own distinctively designed handcrafted platinum and diamond jewelry, large or small diamonds in a myriad of dazzling shapes and colors, and fine designer jewelry. For more information, please visit www.peternorman.com or 888.474.8787

here's just a few things i wouldn't mind receiving:





a Rafflecopter giveaway

**giveaway valid for US entries only!

This post was sponsored by Peter Norman Jewelry and Lipgloss & Crayons Media but the opinions are 100% my own.

GIVEAWAY // everyday icing

today's giveaway comes from Everyday Icing Accessory Auctions. born from a love of designer jewelry, but not designer prices, these busy moms with a budget love how a fantastic piece of jewelry can make any outfit special. it's the least expensive way to take an outfit from plain to fabulous!

how does it work? 
Everyday Icing combines social media and shopping - two great things! simply "like" their facebook page, click on the gear icon and add them to your "interest list" so you don't miss a thing! 

shopping with Everyday Icing is easy as 1-2-3:
1. visit their facebook page every monday evening at 9pm EST to buy the sweetest accessories at the sweetest prices. the prices are fixed and quantities are limited, which means that when they're gone, they're gone! 
2. comment "sold" any any item that you can't resist. make sure to include your email address (to keep it private, click "register to shop" tab on their home page, then you can just comment "sold")
3. they will invoice you through paypal and domestic shipping is always free!

still have questions? click on the "how to shop" tab on their page to review the details! 

Kim sent me a few items to style and, i have to be honest, i haven't taken that black and gold wrap bracelet off ever since i got it. i'm in love.



here's what's up for grabs: 
turquoise quatrefoil necklace - Van Cleef inspired
turquoise love knot earrings
silver love bangle bracelet
multi-color chevron bangles 
(a $60 value!)

use the giveaway tool below to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

the art of an inspiring space






i've found that i'm most inspired when the space around me is inspiring. i also realize that there is little to nothing that is groundbreaking about that sentence. i'm always changing up the way my desk looks, whether it's because i find something new or just get tired of the way it looked before. recently, i've gotten rid of some of the clutter and tried to organize and create a simple look.

color, animals (owls, giraffes, cats...you name it), magazines, design books, and a lot of white. that's what is inspiring to me at the moment. oh, and antique fans.

what's inspiring to you?

high five for friday

1. just some pretty things.
2. milo fall asleep checking himself out in the mirror...or this was his reaction when he finally realized what he looks like...or this was him just giving up after trying to get his hair just right...or. wait, i'm done.
3. otis threw himself on me and cuddled in the least comfortable position possible.
4. just a simple reminder of the grace i've received.
5. my boyfriend uses the word "adorbs". this is why i like him. well, that and a couple other reasons.

how was your week? link up below and tell me about it!
connect on social media using #H54F!

GIVEAWAY // brickyard buffalo

so, guys gals. have you heard of brickyard buffalo yet? they're an online pop-up market bringing you on-trend products at a discounted price. they do their homework so that you don't have to. these deals don't last forever so take advantage of them while you can. 

i pretty much want to claim every deal that they have, but i have to practice some self-control. here's some of my recent favorites:
i mean, honestly, they kill me. too much good stuff. 

they're offering one lucky reader a $25 shop credit to use on anything they feature in the next 30 days. yes, please. use the giveaway tool below to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. they're always looking for new vendors to feature. you can apply by emailing vendor@brickyardbuffalo.com.

let's pretend this never happened

my roommate had the very brilliant idea to take "family" christmas pictures this year. not only did we dress up like fools, courtesy of Target's pajama section, but we even sent these photos to our friends via facebook. talk about a holiday greeting. please enjoy.


puffer vest to the rescue




pants: madewell 
flannel: old navy
vest: american eagle - very old (similar)
boots: hunter

so, if you live basically anywhere in the great united states, you've probably experienced some sort of strange weather the last month or so. we've had 70's down here in north carolina. which, i'm not about to complain about because i love it, but it does make it difficult to wear my fall clothes. on the few days that it's been closer to 50, i've been able to pull out the flannel and boots, but it's still been too warm to wear a real jacket. which is where my puffer vest comes in. 

puffer vests are everything that is right with outerwear, if you ask me. i currently have three in my coat closet and wouldn't mind adding to that. i actually really would like a brightly colored one because i have all neutrals now. either way, i love them. and they're perfect for this weird weather we're having.

p.s. how great is that bag? my roommate surprised me with it for my birthday and i haven't looked at another bag since. it's love, i'm pretty sure of it. 

about plans

as i sit on my bed drinking my coffee, slightly squinting from the bright sun shining through my window, i can't help but be grateful for this life that i've been given. i've said it before, and i'm sure i'll say it again, but i don't deserve the blessings that God has given me. i tend to be kind of hard on myself, always noticing the thing(s) that i didn't do or can't do, instead of the ones that i do and can. i'm a little bit of a perfectionist in that way, and i'm learning to let go and realize that nothing is supposed to be perfect. in fact, it's usually better when it's not. i don't adjust well to change, even slight changes in everyday life. once i have a plan, i like to stick with it. if something gets in the way of it, it takes me a minute to refocus and continue. the funny thing about life, though, is that it's not about my plan. it's not supposed to be about what i want to do or how i want to live. it should be about God's plan for me and how He wants to use me.

i tend to think that my plans are better than God's. that i somehow know exactly what i need and exactly how i need to get it. oh, how i couldn't be more wrong. i sometimes wonder if God looks at me and smiles, thinking "oh, lauren. how silly of you to think that you're in control and you know what's best. i created you, after all. don't you trust me and the plan that i have for you?" i do trust God and i know that He has a perfect plan for me, but what scares me is the unknown. not knowing where i will be and what i will be doing. not knowing who i will be around and how my everyday life will be. like i said, i like to plan things, so not being able to plan is kind of a struggle for me.

but, i'm learning to let go.
to trust that God will lead me where He wants me, not necessarily where i think i should be.
to rest in the truth that the Creator of the world knows me by name and knows what i need.
kind of amazing, isn't it?

and when i look at it that way, i would much rather He be in control than me.

my halls are decked







confession: i decorated for christmas before thanksgiving this year.

that's breaking some sort of cardinal christmas-decorating rule, isn't it? i wish i could say that i'm sorry, but it was actually nice to come home from thanksgiving and not have to worry about pulling the christmas stuff out of my storage closet.

the cats, mostly milo, have made a serious habit of taking naps under the tree skirt. so, unfortunately, what is pictured is how it looks 99% of the time. oh well, you win some and you lose some. they've also snuck into their stocking a few times and tried to free the toys that i stuffed in there, with no success yet.

have you decorated for the holidays yet? what's one thing that you have to have every year? mine is probably that small village you see in the second to last picture. i just love that thing.

p.s. that "joy to the world" print is from HERE.

high five for friday

1. wore my favorite giraffe print skirt (from madewell, currently unavailable) and some festive nails to a holiday party.
2. cat-themed gifts are definitely the best kind.
3. my roommate and i thought it would be a great idea to take awkward holiday pictures. this is just one of the little gems we captured.
4. it felt like fall yesterday! although, we're expecting 70's again this weekend...which is also kind of hard to complain about.
5. snuggles.

how was your week? link up below and tell me about it!

eCookbook // three ruffled aprons




we wrote a cookbook! 

we dreamed up this idea while we were all sitting in an inflatable pool in the driveway of my parents' house in july.

i know, don't all great ideas come from inflatable pools that are placed on a driveway?

my sister and I flew home in october, and we spent an entire saturday cooking and photographing (and eating) every recipe you'll find in this cookbook.

we wanted to start with some of our very favorites, so we chose 10 of our "go-to" meals and snacks.

my mom is a fantastic home cook, and my sister and i are very thankful to have been brought up in a household where our mom enjoyed cooking delicious food. a few of the recipes are passed down from our grandparents, a handful are my mom's, and the rest are combined from other favorites we have. 

if you are hosting any holiday parties this season, we're sure you'll find a recipe or two in here that is a total crowd pleaser. 

my favorite? our grandpa's banana bread. yes, please.  

would you like to buy the eCookbook? 

Click on the "BUY IT NOW" button, and you'll be taken through the very simple steps to buy the book! 

Buy Now
 

(note: just incase this isn't clear, you are not buying a paper or hardcover book. You are purchasing an e-book, which is a file that is delivered to your e-mail inbox. You are welcome to print the file, or you can simply store it on your computer.)