Friday, December 19, 2014

Reflections on 2014

Today I took the afternoon to reflect on the past year and start making plans for 2015. The past year has been unexpected yet wonderful in so many ways. When I made the move to work for myself and pursue social media full time in March, I didn't know quite what to expect. Business plans written & goals set, I knew I would regret it if I never took that leap of faith.
There have been ups & downs, victories & things that didn't go the way I anticipated, but that was okay! I wanted to spend this year learning, rolling with the punches, and hustling my heart out. I'm so elated to see what the next year brings. I'm going to be focusing more on our Social Media With Style Workshops & Strategy Sessions which I'm pumped for. One of the things I realized most this year is how much I love mentoring & working with other bloggers and small business owners! I can totally understand their passion & excitement! I've met so many amazing people this year.
I snapped a few pictures as I started my planning this afternoon. I always work best in an inspiring environment- candles & coziness, some uplifting tunes & great books in case I need some words of wisdom to get me started.
La Petite Fashionista: Reflections on 2014 & Starting My Own Business

My Business Planning Inspiration:
Planner: Sugar Paper for Target (similar & I also have the calendar) | Candle: The Grey Designer
Faux Succulent: Target | Metallic Folio Envelope: Poppin | Sweater: Aeropostale (similar)
Books: "Thrive" by Arianna Huffington + "Miracles Now" by Gabby Bernstein

La Petite Fashionista: Reflections on 2014 & Starting My Own Business
La Petite Fashionista: Reflections on 2014 & Starting My Own Business

I'll be sharing more next week about my planning process and setting goals for the new year, but just wanted to get some thoughts down and get real with you.  Everything can look pretty & perfect on Instagram, but behind the scenes there's lots of chaos, and messy desks & botched outfit pictures! My thoughts on the matter are- as long as I have fun with it and keep things positive, then I'm doing alright! I'm just so grateful to be having this opportunity to be doing something I love.

One of my goals for 2015 is to partner more with local brands + fellow small business owners. I had the opportunity to meet with my friend Erin, of The Grey Designer, for coffee last week. It was so fun talking business and bouncing ideas off of eachother. She just launched her hand poured soy candle company. They're handmade locally in Madison with unique scents, & they evoke memories of all of life's best moments. (Save 25% on any of the holiday scents with code: holiday25)!

Thank you for the support over the years & coming along with me on this fun entrepreneurial journey!

What did you learn this year?

xoxo, lauren

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Modern Day Holly Golightly

If there's one thing I don't need in my closet it's another LBD. It's been one of my go-to dress colors for formal events, holiday parties & date nights. Then, I stopped into Francesca's yesterday and found this one.  In the fitting room I had that insta-Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's feeling. It's lace, it's bedazzled, it's A-line.. it's the perfect LBD. It's ultra flattering and perfectly festive.
I couldn't think of a better place to style my holiday LBD than next to my Christmas tree & with a red lips & big curls!

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday LBD
What I'm Wearing:
MaryAnne Lace Dress: Francesca's | Green Statement Earrings: Francesca's
La Petite Fashionista: Holiday LBD

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday LBD

The most wonderful thing about the LBD is that no matter how many you own, there will always be occasions to wear them! This style would be equally as fabulous paired with red lips and pearls for Christmas as it would be with a faux fur shrug on New Year's Eve!
Putting on a little black dress never fails to give me that anything-can-happen Holly Golightly feel. This style is less than $50 too, so if you're calculating cost-per-wear, it's a great deal!
What's your favorite way to style a LBD for the holidays?
xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vacation State of Mind

When the skies are gloomy and grey, there is nothing better than getting in a vacation state of mind! This ultra comfy "bon voyage" sweatshirt from Boat House Apparel definitely brings visions of wanderlust, traveling & adventure. The collection is inspired by fashion and the relaxed nature of life at the lake!
 I'm joining designer Laura & the team at Boat House Apparel for the 10 Days of Style and rocking their Vacation Bon Voyage pullover.

La Petite Fashionista: Boat House Apparel -10 Days of Style
What I'm Wearing:
"Vacation Bon Voyage" Pullover - Boat House Apparel | Sequin Skirt: JCP (similar)
Crochet Infinity Scarf: Aero (similar) | Cognac Ankle Booties: Splendid via Shopbop
Navy Fleece Lined Tights: Forever 21 (similar)
La Petite Fashionista: Boat House Apparel -10 Days of Style
 La Petite Fashionista: Boat House Apparel -10 Days of Style

Boat House Apparel has Midwest roots, with a home base at Iowa's Lake Okoboji. I love being able to support a fellow girl boss in the Midwest! This pullover is literally one of the comfiest & most flattering pullovers I've ever worn. It has a slim cut & heathered fabric and this silhouette is majorly trending right now. I love the juxtaposition of a casual piece with the sequined skirt!

I think what I adore most about the brand is that there's also a nod to travel- with their Eat Macarons for Breakfast tee & Bonjour tee. I feel like the brand totally represents me too! I love living in the Midwest and all of it's charm, but I also have dreams of traveling Europe & taking French classes again.

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December PopSugar Must Have Box Review

 I love subscription boxes. Who doesn't love getting happy mail full of goodies each month in their mailbox? I was so excited to try out PopSugar's Must Have Box subscription box service! I have to say, I've never experienced a subscription box quite as special as one! The boxes retail for $39.95 per month but are filled with specially curated pieces that value over $250.

Each PopSugar Must Have box comes with products from the genres of fashion, food, fitness, entertainment, home & more! Be sure to check out the special promo code at the bottom of the post to experience the box for yourself at the end of this post and check out one of my first YouTube videos showing the unboxing!

PopSugar Must Have Box Review

What's Inside the December PopSugar Must Have Box:
Vanilla Cupcake Mix- Williams Sonoma | Gold Flecked Scarf - Subtle Luxury | Lip Gloss- Smashbox
Ceramic Catchall - Canvas Home | Gift Tags: Knot & Bow | Necklace- Sparklepop

Check out my unboxing video above to get a better description of each of the gorgeous goodies in the PopSugar Must Have Box. If there's someone on your Christmas list that is tricky to buy for (or perhaps you're that girl yourself), this would be the perfect gift! I was so impressed with the quality & wide appeal of each of the items in this month's box.

Use promo code DEC14SELECT to save $10 on a 3 Month Subscription (promo ends 1/2/15)!

I haven't filmed a YouTube video in forever, but was inspired when I was creating my 2015 Goals (but more on that later)! I would LOVE if you would subscribe to my channel. I plan on creating a ton more content for 2015, so I'd love to hear what you want to see on video!

Which is your favorite of the goodies in this month's PopSugar Must Have Box?

xoxo, lauren

 POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

LPF Does Chicago

 Kyle & I took a trip to Chicago this weekend- which has sort of become a fun little tradition for us. Both of us would much rather receive experiences rather than material presents- so we almost always choose to celebrate the holidays or birthdays with a getaway (even if just for the day!), cooking lessons, or a fun activity we can do together.
As usual, I  did the worst job trying to take cute couple pictures of the two of us. We were too busy soaking up the scenes of Chicago - which is just fine by me.  I wanted to share a few of the snapshots from our weekend & share a few of my favorite things to do if you visit during the holidays!
LPF Does Chicago
Window Shopping: I used to work in visual merchandising, so I live for seeing all of the beautiful store windows and displays- especially around the holidays. The Kate Spade & Ralph Lauren stores are always two of my favorites - and of course the opulent department store displays. The Christmas trees that are four stories tall are a sight to be seen!
Wining & Dining: My guy & I are major foodies so we went a little crazy at Dylan's Candy Bar for an afternoon sugar rush, spent some time oogling the selection at Eataly and stopping in for a famous Portillo's hot dog. Our favorite meal of the weekend was at Quartino- where we shared tons of small plates, delicious sangria and topped of the meal with tasty tiramisu.
Exploring Downtown: We spent our evenings walking around downtown, grabbing some coffee and watching the ice skaters at Millennium Park. We stopped by the Christkindl Market to warm up with some German mulled gluhwein and candied almonds. It's pretty perfect for instantly putting you in the Christmas spirit!
I can hardly believe Christmas is only a week and a half away. I'm looking forward to enjoying these days to the fullest.. including some baking tonight!
What are you doing to celebrate the holidays?
xoxo, lauren

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sugarplum Pink

I can hardly contain my excitement! Kyle & I leave for a weekend in Chicago at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Three years ago we went at Christmas time & we still reminisce about our weekend of exploring the Art Institute, peeking at holiday store windows & eating our weight in deep dish pizza. Be sure to follow me on instagram this weekend as I document our travels!

I picked up this ultra cozy fuzzy pink sweater at Aero a couple of weeks ago. With its candy colored hue it makes me feel like one of the Nutcracker's sugar plum fairies! I love any excuse to break out bright colors & pastels in the winter- perfectly paired with sequins, of course!

La Petite Fashionista: Pink Sweater + Sequins

What I'm Wearing:
Sequin Structured Skirt: Bohme | Pink Fuzzy Sweater: Aeropostale (similar) | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff  | Pink Statement Necklace: LOFT (similar) | Black Patent Platform Heels: Target (similar)

La Petite Fashionista: Pink Sweater + Sequins

La Petite Fashionista: Pink Sweater + Sequins

La Petite Fashionista: Pink Sweater + Sequins

I've gotten so used to wearing pants every day that it feels oh-so-good to be dressed up in a skirt. I love this one from Bohme. It's structured & stretchy and makes for the perfect party skirt! This look is perfect for someone who wants to get dressed up for holiday parties (& not freeze)- just pair with tights, lightweight sweater & statement necklace.

I love sequins any time of year- but especially during the holidays. What's your favorite way to wear sequins?

xoxo, lauren

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Ultimate (Colorful) Christmas Gift Guide!

One of my favorite mantras is from Kate Spade.. "Think, Travel, Celebrate, Charm, Decorate, Dress, Live Colorfully"! Can I add shop colorfully to that list too? I've had so much fun choosing my favorite pieces (in signature LPF pink, turquoise & gold, no less) under $50 for those last minute Christmas gift ideas and colorful stocking stuffers! 

Cute note cards, cozy socks, beautiful baubles,  coffee mugs, planners, candles & glam beauty products are a few of my favorite gifts- you can shop them all in the links below! I try to never stress about buying gifts- it's supposed to be fun! Don't put too much pressure on yourself when choosing your gifts - it truly is the thought that counts during this time of year.

Check out the ultimate gift guide - under $50! Also, a fun feature of this post-  you can actually click any of the items on the image to take you directly to the product page

Shop the Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide Under $50 (L-R):

Gold Notebook- Kate Spade |  TooFaced Cosmetics | Monogram Necklace |  Coffee Mug- Reiko Kaneko

I can't tell you how much fun I had designing this! I seriously love each & every piece. If you're looking for other great ideas for presents- be sure to check out my gift ideas for the fashionista, hostess & gifts that give back! You can also check out my pinterest board for a ton of options under $50 ready to pin to your wish lists!

I wanted to end on a heartfelt note to you all! I always like to be as transparent as possible on my blog.  As I've noted in my sidebar, that there may be affiliate links on LPF's blog & pinterest boards. Any of the income I receive from purchases through those links are helping to support making my small business dreams happen! I only feature products & partner with businesses that I love- I so appreciate your continuous support & love over the past seven years! Thank you for everything.

What's your favorite item on the ultimate gift guide??

xoxo, lauren

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tribal Print Sweater Style

I've officially found the coziest sweater ever. Since I picked up this tribal print sweater a few days ago I've been finding an excuse to slip it on. It's literally like wrapping up in a blanket - and on some dreary winter days that's exactly what I need! Just add a cup of hot coffee & I'm ready to take on the day - with joy!

This is pretty much my unofficial work from home uniform- fun graphic tee (80' bands anyone?) layered up with a comfy sweater & skinny jeans as I sit at my desk dreaming up editorial calendars and brainstorming strategies. 

La Petite Fashionista: Tribal Print Sweater Style

What I'm Wearing:
Aztec Sweater: Aeropostale (similar) | Guns & Roses Tee: Forever 21 (similar)
Pearl Earrings: Sweet & Spark (similar) | Gold Link Bracelet: Sweet & Spark (similar)
Bow Flats: Lahi  | Lipstick: Kate Spade "Supercalifragilipstick"

La Petite Fashionista: Tribal Print Sweater Style

La Petite Fashionista: Tribal Print Sweater Style

La Petite Fashionista: Tribal Print Sweater Style

La Petite Fashionista: Tribal Print Sweater Style

The jewelry in today's post from is Sweet & Spark - all vintage! Check out their site for more jewelry goodies from the 40's-70's - all treasures curated from estate sales, yard sales & more. It totally reminds me of my days volunteering at the thrift store & snatching up fun, unique pieces!

What are your favorite cozy winter wardrobe pieces?

xoxo, lauren

Friday, December 5, 2014

Glam Gifts for the Fashionista (for $50 or Less!)

Sometimes the fashionistas on your list are the hardest to buy for - or so my family tells me every year! You can't go wrong with something that sparkles & fits any size- jewelry, cold weather accessories, handbags. I like to choose something cozy (slippers or faux fur scarf), colorful (statement jewelry or card holder), or sparkly (an embellished watch or cocktail ring). I've teamed up with HSN to share a few of my favorite pieces in my glam gift guide for fashionistas!
The best part is that all of these glam gifts are $50 or less! Check out my picks:

Gift Guide for the Fashionista (for $50 or less)!
Glam Gifts for the Fashionista from HSN:
1. Croco-Embossed Pouch- Snob Essentials | 2.  Heart Stud Earrings- Technibond | 3. "Luna Caprese" Dome Ring - Roberto by RFM | 4. Embellished Hat & Gloves Set- Joan Boyce | 5. "Frattapolesine" Dome Satchel - ALDO | 6. Faux Fur Cowl- A by Adrienne Landau | 7. Purple Stone Drop Necklace- Cara Couture | 8. Retro Glam Drop Earrings- R.J. Graziano | 9. Crystal Dial Leather Watch- Victoria Wieck | 10. Rhinestone Slippers- Naturalizer
If you want to make your gift recipient extra happy- do like my gramma always used to do & slip a bit of cash in the pink croco-embossed pouch. Another gift idea I love is pair the embellished slippers with a pair of pajamas for Christmas morning! A tip for the guys- you could include a sweet sentiment with the watch "I'm always having the time of my life with you"! 
Me? I'll be asking Santa for the embellished knit hat & gloves. Wisconsin is SO freezing in the winter & the only way to make it more bearable is to stay stylish with cold weather accessories! I love that these have a bit of sparkle (which obviously goes with everything)! 
Looking for more gift ideas? Be sure to check out my gift guide in collaboration with HSN for the
hostess too! Which gift idea is your favorite?
xoxo, lauren
Disclosure: Thank you so much to HSN for sponsoring this post! All opinons & great gift ideas are my own! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Statement Jewelry for Sports Fans

It's been quite a year for Florida State fans. Win or lose on Saturday, I will always be a fan! Never did I think I would be a crazy football fan- but it happened, and I live for game days! I had the excitement of attending a football with my dad a couple of weekends ago. It was yet another nailbiter, but that's what makes the sport so much fun to watch- you never know what will happen next!
My friends at Charming Collectables & Snap Decisions Jewelry were sweet enough to send over some Florida State Seminoles game day jewelry for me!  You can sure bet I'm going to be wearing as my good luck charms this weekend during the ACC championship game as part of my game day outfit!
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 photo fsu_jewelry_zpsf0e4b8b6.jpg

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What I'm Wearing:
In addition to having jewelry for nearly every college sports team, Charming Collectables also has jewelry for almost any theme you could imagine! Snap Decisions Jewelry is great because it allows you to switch out the snaps depending on the team you're cheering on that day (I have a Badgers snap too for when I'm watching games with my boyfriend)!
These pieces would be perfect gifts for your sports loving fashionistas for Christmas (& they're having some great deals on the site right now in case Santa needs any ideas)! Save 20% on your order using code LPFGIRLS - happy shopping y'all!
xoxo, lauren
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