Saturday, November 22, 2014

LPF Book Club: "Eightysixed" by Emily Belden

Growing up I was an avid reader and I still love reading, but life gets so crazy it's tough to make time to snuggle up with a good read. Kyle & I had a little getaway to Door County last weekend and it was the perfect excuse for some R&R! I finally had a chance to dig into a copy of Eightysixed: Life Lessons Learned by Emily Belden- and I loved it.
 
Emily's book has a Sex in the City meets Chicago setting and tells a story about life, love & the hilarious happenings that life often brings. I related to so much in her memoir. The stories of heartbreak, moving somewhere far from family & a hopeless dating scene are all scenarios I've encountered in my post-college years. There were times I was shaking my head while reading saying "yep, been there!" & found myself literally laughing out loud talking about some hilarious boy encounters.LPFBook Club: "Eightysixed" by Emily Belden
No one ever tells you your twenties are going to be such a crazy & unexpected time. I think Emily's story speaks perfectly to those times that we feel like we have life all planned out .. and nothing goes as planned- and sometimes that's exactly what's supposed to happen! 
 
In the spirit of Emily's book, Eightysixed, I thought I'd share a few of the life lessons I've learned in my twenties:
 
1. Sometimes scoring your dream job is not all it's cracked up to be- and that's perfectly okay
2. A phone call from mom after having an awful day can be seriously mood-changing (fro yo  definitely helps too)
3. Saturday night at age 18 is wayyy different from Saturday night at age 25
4.  If you try to have your life completely planned out (fellow Type A gals?) chances are things will not go as planned
5. Best friends will always be there- no matter the distance, no matter how long it's been since you've last talked or seen eachother-  always.
 
I definitely didn't imagine myself at age 25 living in Wisconsin, owning my own business, finding the most wonderful Midwestern guy & still blogging my heart out at LPF- but here I am and I love it! Life can be exciting and unexpected and take you down a crazy path you've never imagined- just as Emily writes about- and that's what makes it so wonderful.
 
Check out Emily Belden's book, "Eightysixed" or put it on your Christmas list. I promise you will be able to relate to her story of life, love & laughter! See more hilarious musings from Emily on her website.
 
What's something you've learned in your twenties (or hope you know by the time you reach that age)?
 
xoxo, lauren

Friday, November 21, 2014

Try This Trend: Rustic Glam Holidays

 The biggest change from spending the holidays in my girly bachelorette pad to with my boyfriend is the décor. While I love color, pink & femininity when it comes to the holidays he prefers more classic and woodsy. Where we meet in the middle is a rustic glam holiday sensibility. 
 
This year we're going to decorate our place with a rustic glam feel filled with mercury glass + gold, metallic deer & antlers, natural elements like birch & barn board, and some glam sparkly elements like glittery Christmas trees & metallic serving platters. I couldn't be more excited to start decorating next weekend! I'll be posting peeks of our décor, DIYs & recipes throughout the holidays!
 
I've created an inspiration board to get my creative juices flowing.
 
Rustic Glam Holidays
 
Rustic Glam Holiday Inspiration:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
 
So I'll be looking for patterns like tartan & gold polka dots, mixed with natural wood & glam mercury glass. I'm so excited to see it all come together!
 
How would you describe your holiday style?
 
xoxo, lauren

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Sparkle + Pearl Necklace Giveaway!

When it comes to the holidays two things are for sure:
#1. Snow makes everything feel more magical this time of year &  #2. Jewelry makes every outfit feel instantly festive!

Pretty much everything came together when I stepped outside to take outfit pictures the other day wearing a holiday party look. Pure bliss came across my face at the sight of flurries falling to the ground and I probably could have broken out singing "Let it Go"! The pearls & silky maxi were the perfect complement to the snowglobe like atmostphere I'd just stepped into.

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post, you won't want to miss the opportunity to win a pearl necklace from JTV just like the one I'm wearing in today's outfit.

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday Style- Silk Maxi Skirt, Leather Jacket & Pearls

What I'm Wearing:
Freshwater Pearl Necklace- JTV | Leather Jacket- (similar) | Beanie- American Eagle (similar)
Black Crop Top- Aeropostale | Maxi Skirt- H&M (similar)

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday Style- Silk Maxi Skirt, Leather Jacket & Pearls

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday Style- Silk Maxi Skirt, Leather Jacket & Pearls

La Petite Fashionista: Holiday Style- Silk Maxi Skirt, Leather Jacket & Pearls

I've teamed up with JTV to share my favorite picks from their site. Let's be real- no girl will complain about jewelry sitting underneath the Christmas tree! The holidays are the perfect excuse to pile on the sparkly accessories and give & receive jewelry as gifts that will never go out of style.

Holiday Sparkle: JTV Gift Guide
Shop the Guide:
1. Rose Gold Watch | 2. Pearl Ring  | 3. Pearl Earrings 
 4. Blue Topaz Rose Gold Earrings  | 5. Pink Stud Earrings  | 6.  Yellow Gold + Diamond Simulant Bracelet 
 7. Pink Cabochon Bracelet |  8. Yellow Gold Bangle  | 9. Pearl Bracelet

I've also pinned a few of my favorite ways to accessorize for the holidays for even more inspiration!

Follow Lauren @ La Petite Fashionista's board Holiday Accessorizing on Pinterest.

I've saved the best for last! I styled the freshwater pearl necklace in my outfit featured in today's post and now you have a chance to win one for your own. The best thing about pearls is that they're totally timeless & go with almost every outfit- especially during the holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Entries are limited to US residents. Good luck!
 
How are you going to accessorize during the holidays?
 
xoxo, lauren

Thank you to JTV for sponsoring this post! All opinions,  thoughts & gorgeous jewelry picks are my own!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peppermint Hot Cocoa + Candy Cane Marshmallows Recipe

I'm sorry to be that girl talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving's even happened, but I can't help it. I'm so darn excited for the holidays and the snowy weather isn't helping to dampen my Christmas spirit. This week, I was just craving homemade hot cocoa. There's something so cozy about a mug of hot chocolate & being cozied up during the winter.

Apologies in advance if this peppermint hot cocoa recipe puts you in the holiday mood.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa + Candy Cane Marshmallows Recipe

Peppermint Hot Cocoa
(makes 2 mugs)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
4 cups milk (can be dairy or non-dairy)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
4 candy cane marshmallows (for topping)

Directions:
1. In a saucepan add water, cocoa powder & sugar & salt. Stir ingredients together.
2. Bring saucepan to medium heat & bring mixture to a boil. Stir constantly for one minute.
3. Lower heat & stir in milk. Be careful not to let the milk boil. Once temperature is adequate, remove from heat & stir in peppermint extract. 
4. Ladle into coffee mugs & top with candy cane marshmallows.

DIYCandy Cane Marshmallows

The candy cane marshmallows are the best part of this hot cocoa. They're so simple to make and oh-so-tasty. They look so pretty sitting in your mug but are equally as great as a snack!

Ingredients:
3 Candy Canes
10 Marshmallows
1/2 c White Chocolate Chips

Directions:
1. Place candy canes in plastic bag & zip shut. Using a meat tenderizer or mallet, crush candy canes into small pieces & pour into a small bowl.
2. In a small bowl, microwave white chocolate chips in 30 second increments, stirring well in between microwaving sessions. 
3. Dip half of each marshmallow in melted white chocolate then cover in crushed candy cane bits
4. Let dry for 10 minutes, then they're ready for hot cocoa action!

Trust me I'm no Martha, but this stuff is almost as simple as opening a packet & heating up in the microwaves. The candy cane marshmallows add an especially festive touch and I was amazed at how well they turned out. I'm definitely going to be making them for holiday parties!

Are you in the early holiday spirit too? Speaking of getting inspired for the holidays- be sure to check out my pinterest board for ideas for decorating, recipes, gifts, outfits & more!

xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cozy Texture & Plaid Blanket Scarf

Winter has officially arrived in Wisconsin! Even though it will be my third winter here, I still get giddy over the first snowfall, which just happened to be this weekend. The neighborhood was blanketed in a dusting of beautiful, sparkly white snow & I’m instantly in the holiday spirit!
 
  I took the weather as my cue to break out my favorite Betsey Johnson plaid blanket scarf. I picked it up at the Madison Nordstrom Rack Store opening & it’s been one of my go-to accessories lately. My look features a cozy boucle textured cardigan, drapey white blouse,dark wash denim, chunky plaid infinity scarf & tan wedge lace up boots.
  
La Petite Fashionista: Cozy Jacket & Plaid Blaanket Scarf
 
What I'm Wearing:
Cozy Textured Jacket: Elodie | White Blouse: LUSH
Plaid Infinity Scarf: Betsey Johnson (similar) | Jeans: J.Brand | Wedges: MIA (similar)
(all via Nordstrom Rack)

La Petite Fashionista: Cozy Jacket & Plaid Blaanket Scarf
 

La Petite Fashionista: Cozy Jacket & Plaid Blaanket Scarf

La Petite Fashionista: Cozy Jacket & Plaid Blaanket Scarf

The holidays are right around the corner. I’ve already started shopping for family & friends. One of the perks to being a fashionable family member is being able to give stylish gifts to everyone on my list. Nordstrom Rack makes it easy to find perfect presents and save some money during the holidays with their designer discounts.

I’ve picked a few of my favorite pieces from Nordstrom Rack in case you need any inspiration for the fashion lovers on your list. What girl doesn’t love a little bit of sparkle?
 
Gorgeous Gifts from Nordstrom Rack
 
Gorgeous Gifts from Nordstrom Rack:
1. Studded Satchel - Betsey Johnson | 2. Gold Bracelet Watch - Nixon Watch
3. Statement Necklace - Bauble Bar | 4. Gold Flats- Sam Edelman
5. Phone Case- Lilly Pulitzer
 
When it comes to giving great gifts choose pieces in the recipient's favorite color or from their favorite brands. You can also give presents that are equally as useable as they are stylish- like a phone case or timeless gold watch. Thankfully you don’t have to choose between saving & splurging at Nordstrom Rack since everything in the store is an irresistible deal!
 
What’s getting you in the holiday spirit this year?
xoxo, lauren
 
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nordstrom Rack, but all views are my own.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Gifts for the Guys

This year instead of just taking my best guess at what I think the guys want for the holidays I went straight to the source and asked my (stylish & savvy) boyfriend! I always think that men are difficult to buy for, but he had no trouble coming up with a wish list from Kohl's filled with clothing, & gifts that won't disappoint. The gift ideas on their site is a great place to start your search for the perfect present.
 
From the stylish (statement watches & pattern socks) to the techy toys. (Fitbit & Jambox) to the festive (cocktail books & barware sets) - these are all guy-approved gifts. Check out my guide to gifts for the guys (that they actually want) featuring great gift ideas from Kohl's!
 
Gift Guide: for the Guys (that they'll actually like)!
 
GIFTS FOR THE GUYS:
  • Pattern Socks: Fun socks make a great stocking stuffer. I love the trendy camo print
  • Fitbit: A great way to track your fitness- especially if you both get one!
  • JAMBOX: This wireless speaker syncs with your iPhone, perfect for parties
  • Wallaby Boots: These comfortable & stylish boots will get him out of his sneakers
  • Watch: This large watch will coordinate with anything & has a dressy feel.
  • Cocktail Book: A cocktail book is perfect for him to brush up on his mixologist skills
  • Barware Set: Every amateur bartender needs his tools. This covers all of the essentials
  • Graphic Tee: A comfy graphic tee, with his favorite tv show, band, or superhero is always a win. We LOVE Game of Thrones!

Check out the Men's Gift Ideas tab on the Kohl's site for even more ideas!
 
 What gift ideas do you love most for your husband, boyfriend, or best guy friend?
 
xoxo, lauren
 
Disclosure: Thank you to Kohls for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Perfect Jeans for Your Body Type

Finding the perfect pair of jeans can often feel like a seemingly impossible task. I know that with my petite hourglass shape, that I'll be trying on more than a few pairs each time I go shopping for the perfect pair. Although it can take a while to find the perfect pair of womens jeans,  when you do, there's no better feeling! You know the feeling- the kind you get when you have the favorite pair of jeans that always looks amazing on you.
 
A pair of jeans that fits & flatters can totally change the look of your outfit and make you feel more confident. It's also I place I like to invest in. When you think about the cost per wear- you definitely get your money's worth when you buy a pair of designer jeans that's durable, comfortable and looks great on you. I’ve rounded up my favorite jeans for each body type from True Religion.
 
I’ve created a guide to finding the perfect women’s jeans for each body type. Though I have to say that I believe “rules” are made to be broken. Don’t rule out an entire style of pants just because of your shape- find the pair that works for you with the right fabric, waistband, fabric & stretch. If you’re petite (like me!) it doesn’t mean that you don’t share characteristics of the other body types.
 
Best Jeans For Your Body Type: Petite

 
For petite women, you’ll want to look for jeans that are specifically made for petite proportions or have a shorter inseam (36” is typically a petite length). By choosing a pair with a length that works with your body, you won’t have to worry about those awful shredded hemlines from too-long pants dragging on the ground or pricey appointments with a tailor. For a petite body type we recommend trying pants in skinny & straight denim silhouettes in proportions built specifically for petite frames.
 
Best Jeans For Your Body Type: Hourglass
 
 Hourglass Denim Styles:
 
If you have an hourglass figure your hips and chest are approximately the same width & your waist is smaller. Women with an hourglass figure will want to choose a pair of jeans that highlight their best asset. Look for pairs of jeans with contoured waistbands and a slight flare at the bottom to help balance your curves.  A pair of dark wash  bootcut denim is perfect for achieving this look!
 
Best Jeans For Your Body Type: Athletic

Athletic Denim Styles:
With an athletic body type you may lack curves, but don’t worry, with the right pair of jeans you can create them! A pair of skinny jeans is perfect for creating a more curvy look. Look for details like stitching or flaps on the back pocket to make your backside look bigger! The super skinny &  skinny jeans for women are the perfect way to get the look.
 
A pear shaped body means that you’ve got more voluptuous hips & backside. So, when it comes to finding the right pair of jeans, look for a pair that play up your curves. A pair of straight or bootcut jeans with stretch will  accents all of the right places. Avoiding embellishment on the backs of pocket & choosing darker indigo washes for denim jeans will be most flattering for your shape.
 
Now you have all of my tips for finding your perfect pair of jeans!
 
Which is your favorite True Religion style?
 
xoxo, lauren

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Holidays with H&M

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m already in full on Holiday mode.. listening to my favorite Christmas tunes in the car, dreaming up my festive DIY’s & making my wish list. So, it should be no surprise that I already have my perfect Holiday outfit planned.
 
  When it comes to a holiday party outfit, I like to approach it with a twist on traditional. I love red or green paired with a luxe element like metallic, faux fur or sparkle! This red lace circle dress immediately stood out to me with its long sleeves and fit & flared silhouette. It’s the perfect shade of red for the holidays & makes a serious statement at a party. Don’t forget about the accessories either! I accessorized my look with a faux leather bow barrette & delicate but glamorous bow necklace.

 
What I’m Wearing:
I’m obsessed with shopping at H&M for Christmas gifts because it’s affordable & stylish. I can afford to give all my girls something fabulous. Rather than getting them one big item, I love to fill a stocking or gift box (wrapped with style of course) full of smaller items like make-up, accessories, cute socks & notebooks. These are always a safe bet, because you don’t need to know sizes. When it comes to choosing gifts I go for the pieces with a little glam (are you surprised?!)
 
I’ve rounded up a gift guide for the glamour girl in your life (which may very well be you... and in that case, you should probablyyy pass this post on to Santa)! The best part is that all of the gifts are under $50!


 
 
Gift Guide for: the Glamour Girl
 
In case you’re looking for more glam Holiday inspiration I’ve created a Pinterest board full of great gifts & sparkly holiday décor and inspiration! Be sure to pin your favorites.

Follow Lauren @ La Petite Fashionista's board Glam Holidays with H&M #Sponsored on Pinterest.
 
What’s on your holiday wish list this year?
 
xoxo, lauren
 
Disclosure:This post has been sponsored by H&M, through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select,. While I was compensated to write a post about gift guides, all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

3 Ways to Wear Vests in the Winter

We officially have snow in the forecast this week. My poor little Floridian heart is so not ready for that yet. Although looking cute in the cold is important to me, I refuse to sacrifice warmth for style.
 
One of the trends I'm loving right now is the quilted vest.  Gone are the days of looking like a big marshmallow- brands are making insulated down vests more stylish than ever with streamlined quilt lines, pops of color & fashion forward details- J.Crew has made the look more popular than ever.
 
As I've mentioned a couple of times on the blog, I used to work in Outerwear merchandising and learned a ton about fill power & construction during my time in the category. While an inexpensive vest may be tempting, look for technical details like fill power or insulation if you don't want to be shivering in style. I've rounded up a few of my favorite ways to layer up with vests & cute  knit hats to pair with them.
 
 
La Petite Fashionista: 3 Ways to Wear Vests in the Winter
 
Look 1: Playing With Pattern
 Pink Insulated Vest: North Face | Navy Striped Blouse: ModCloth | Chevron Hat: Vera Bradley

Look 2: Cozy Glam + Faux Fur
Gray Vest: North Face | Cable Knit Sweater: Boohoo | Faux Fur Headband: Topshop
 
Look 3: Tribal Print + Cable Knit
Navy Toggle Vest: Patagonia | Tribal Print Sweater: ModCloth | Cable Knit Hat: Lands' End
 
I love each of these looks. The first has a preppy feel & great pop of color. The second look is minimalist and oh-so-cozy with the cable knit & faux fur. The third look reminds me of weekends at the cabin with the fun tribal print!
 
The trick to winter layering with insulated vests is to pick a silhouette that's not overly poufy. Remember what I said about fill power of down and insulation quality.. pooufiness does not equal warmth. You can still wear something streamlined and be cozy!
 
Which look is your favorite?
 
xoxo, lauren

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gifts That Give Back: TOMS for Target

When it comes to the holidays there is no better feeling than choosing the perfect gifts for friends, family & loved ones. Imagine giving a gift that also gives back to others in need- it truly makes this time of year even sweeter. Nothing makes me happier than being able to help others- especially if it’s with choosing beautiful gifts for everyone on my list!
 
I was so excited to hear that the philanthropic brand, TOMS is partnering with Target this holiday season. Starting on November 16th, for every TOMS for Target limited edition gift that is purchased, Target is giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need! I love their brand ethos and each of the pieces in the collection are totally on trend- from cozy sweaters to coffee mugs to blankets. The best part is that each give back to a different need ranging from the American Red Cross to Feeding America. As TOMS likes to say One for One. For All!
 
In celebration of the new TOMS for Target collection, I’m sharing a few of my favorite gifts that give back- and a simple DIY for you to give back in your own community.
 
 
 
Gifts That Give Back:
Marled Sweatshirt, Scarf & Bracelets: TOMS for Target Collection | Goodney Sunglasses: Warby Parker 
Knitting Basket: The Little Market | Embroidered Top: Raven and Lily 
   Bangles: Alex and Ani | Pink Necklace: 31 Bits| Blankets: TOMS for Target Collection
 
The best part about these gifts is that not only do they all give back to wonderful causes, they’re also stylish! How wonderful to be able to give beautiful gifts and help positively impact someone’s life!
 
  If you’re looking for a way to give back within your own community, I have a simple & affordable to make DIY project for a toiletry kit. These are perfect to give to local homeless shelters where simple everyday items like shampoo or toothpaste can be luxuries for those in need.
 
 
 
Gather unused travel size toiletry items for your kit - I love picking these up at Target. You might also have extras from traveling. I’ve placed all my items in a mason jar with a positive note, but a plastic bag works just as well.
 
Check out your local shelters for details on dropping off items & what toiletry items they are especially in need of. This quick DIY can absolutely make someone’s day!
 
Go check out the new limited edition TOMS for Target collection, online and in stores on November 16th at Target.
 
What’s your favorite way to give back during the holidays?
 
xoxo, lauren
 
Compensation for this post was provided by Target via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target or AOL.http://www.ravenandlily.com/anisa-hand-embroidered-beaded-boho-top/
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