20 Little Things About Me

I’m totally stealing this little list idea from The College Prepster, because I love lists (see #2 below). Little things might seem inconsequential, but they’re what truly forms you into a unique person. How’s that for a deep thought on Sunday morning?

1// I have a special affinity for twinkly lights and lanterns. They have to be present in any room I’m living in. Something about that soft, romantic glow…

2// I am an avid list maker. I have them for everything: grocery, to-do’s, goals…even lists for lists I need to make. It’s a problem.

3// My favorite season is autumn, especially when enjoyed outside with a good book and a latte.

4// I have a ridiculous inability to relax. I can’t seem to make my mind turn off. I’m trying to get over this with new hobbies like knitting!

5// Speaking of…I just learned how to knit this fall, and it’s my new favorite thing in the world. So soothing. 

6// I like to take long, long walks outside while listening to Pandora. Usually The Civil Wars or Mumford and Sons. It clears my head, and I do some of my best thinking out there.

7// I have the complete cast albums of several musicals memorized–like every note and every word of every character. Top 3: Les Miserables (extra points because it’s the complete symphonic recording), Phantom of the Opera, and Rent. That’s where my middle school years went, obviously.

8// I have recurring dreams about teeth and spiders. Not at the same time, of course. It’s a little weird because I’m not particularly afraid of either thing in every day life but put them in a dream and ugh!

9// Least favorite sound on earth: forks scraping against plates. Even thinking about it makes me shiver.

10// I have a little bit of an owl obsession. My room looks like an owl shrine at the moment because everyone who loves me gets me owl-themed presents. I suppose one can never have enough?

11// My favorite foods include apples and oatmeal. I have at least one of each pretty much every day.

12// I am not exactly a clean freak, and I don’t mind a little mess. But there reaches a certain point of no return in my living spaces where I go crazy if I don’t clean up instantly.

13// I really want to go on Jeopardy, so I can use my vast knowledge of useless things to gain a little profit. Well, more to just use some of that useless knowledge.

14// I have two best friends named Katie. Well, Katie and Katy. 

15// My basset hound Patterson and I like to sing operatic duets together. Her favorite aria is “Mein Herr Marquis,” though she’s more of a bass.

16// I want to own a little adorable puppy (preferably basset or corgi) named Khaleesi and a kitten named Drogo. Get the reference?

17// I love to write things down. I’m an avid journaler of random things.

18// I think I watched one total hour of regular TV over my winter break. I’d much rather read.

19// I can happily while away three hours in a bookstore, reading and sipping coffee or tea. Absolute nirvana.

20// I have no idea what I want to do with my life, besides that it involve writing and being artistic. I’m working on letting that make me more excited than scared.

 

16 Books for a Creatively Healthy New Year

Books_thatll_Change_your_life

I’m heading back to school this week, after a lovely month of relaxing, hanging out with friends, and enjoying quiet time spent with my family. It’s difficult to believe that in a week I will be back in the swing of a new semester, running from theatre classes to my editor position at the newspaper to rehearsal and back again! I’m looking forward to an extremely challenging semester, creatively; but I also know that I have a tendency to go a little bit crazy when things get overwhelming.

This year, I want to focus on living the creative life I love without all of the stress that tends to come with it. Refinery29, one of my favorite websites, seems to be thinking along my lines: they published an article featuring 16 books that will change your life in a creative way. I’ve added these titles to my (somewhat staggering) reading list, and hope they launch me off into the new year in an artistically positive way!

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas: Date 2, A Winter Wonderland Drive

I love nothing more than looking at Christmas lights. Seriously, I wish those little sparklies could be up all year round. There is something so magical and beautiful about how they glow on the fresh snow, during the cold northern nights…see, they even make me more poetic than usual. Sigh. But I digress.

My second idea for a winter date night is inexpensive, memorable, and fun!

Date Night 2: Winter Wonderland Drive

Christmas lights always make everywhere look amd feel more special. They are deffinitely the ultimate Christmas decoration that you MUST have!!!

I would start the night with a yummy warm homemade dinner (crockpot soup? Grilled cheese and tomato basil bisque? It’s all good!) After dinner, it’s time to pile in the car and head to Starbucks, or another favorite local coffee shop, and indulge in a sweet and warm drink to ward off the chill inside the car. Even less expensive? Try one of these inexpensive hot cocoa recipes from Refinery29.

Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect treat for a December morning.

Map out the best-lighted neighborhoods around (usually the ritzier, the better), put some Christmas classics on the radio, and drive around for a few hours. Here are a few must do’s:

  • Pick your favorite house. Special awards can be awarded to Highest Energy Bill, Most Creative, Dream Home, Most Blinding, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of the car! Last year, my friend and I actually went on this “date,” and my favorite moment was jumping out of the car to swing at a park for a few chilly, exhilerating minutes.
  • Take the paths less traveled: it can be fun to get lost and all turned around
  • Bring a camera to document your favorite houses, and any special moments. There could be a great holiday photo for next year’s Christmas cards in there somewhere!

Christmas Tree Lights on our dogwood in the front yard ~ yes please!

 

16 Things Everyone Should Learn To Prioritize Again

This post really made me think. I spend so much time running around, panicking about the silliest things. And once they’re over, I realize how ridiculous it was to freak out. But what if I took a moment before, took a deep breath, and remembered what I really find important? A little holiday inspiration for this sometimes difficult season.

Simply Having a Wonderful Sunday!

I awoke this morning to snow blanketing the campus–a rather rare occurrence down south. Of course, as a Northern girl, I scoffed a little at first at all of the emails and texts detailing the closure of campus for a tiny dusting of snow and ice. But I am absolutely in love with the lazy, cosy atmosphere that has washed over my school in it’s wake. Everyone is sweet and warm and taking a day to relax, do homework, and love being together.

It’s a beautiful thing to experience in the last few days before we head home to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have to share this awesome infographic from Love Taza and her sponsor, Sweetgreen! It’s everything you ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving–which, I’m the first to admit, is my favorite holiday, second to only Christmas. Any day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, green bean casserole, apple pie, and family time with Christmas carols in the background is a win in my book!

Eating locally isn’t a new trend - the first Thanksgiving featured seasonal ingredients grown in Plymouth Colony, and throughout the US, local produce is still incorporated into Thanksgiving meals today.  Since we are all about sourcing and eating local foods, we wanted to celebrate the regional cuisine that is consumed on this holiday. Check out our infographic to learn more about variations on the Thanksgiving meal across the US.

Adorable Little Ones

I don’t think I have a case of baby fever, at the moment. The same cannot be said for many of my college compatriots, who I see swooning over the little ones running about campus with a hungry look in their eyes. They’re so ready.

I am so not.

I do not want diapers or dirty dishes or throwing up or all my money spent on all of the above.

Logically.

But all of the cute fall and winter pictures of little hipster children? Yep. I’m there. I love them all. And a little bit of my heart cannot wait to dress my own in cute little pom pom hats and owl sweaters and baby slouchy boots and cart them around to parks and farmer’s markets and artisinal stores while we chatter amiably about the latest book that we have read together.

Le sigh. A girl can dream.

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Little Eleanor from Love, Taza. She’s a girl after my own heart.

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Curly haired little guy. My dream.

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What could be sweeter?

 

J. Crew Holiday Catalog…or, all I want for Christmas

My J. Crew holiday catalogue arrived today, and with it, a dismal study of my bank account and the realization of the fact that these beautiful sartorial pieces are a few years out of my reach at this point.

As much as I would love to drop all my paychecks on the glorious felted coats and patent leather ballet flat confections, I will, alas, be forced to waste my money on such discretionary spending as groceries and gas. Ah, this unfair mortal coil.

Here are a few of my favorite picks that will surely be at the top of my list…you know, as soon as my first best selling novel sells.

Fair Isle Leggings

Fair isle leggings

What’s prettier, comfier, or simpler than leggings in a cute pattern?

Double-cloth Metro Coat

Double-cloth metro coat with Thinsulate®

I adore the color, and the cut is to die for. Makes me think of beautiful chilled afternoons wandering the city!

Fair Isle Striped and Jeweled Sweater

Jeweled Fair Isle stripe sweater

A gorgeous mix of my favorite pattern and the most beautiful embellishment ever! In love.

Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set

Vintage short-sleeve pajama set

Absolutely comfy and cosy. Light enough for the summer, but with a sweater, this set makes the perfect winter loungewear.

Everly Cap Pump with Metallic Bow

Everly cap toe pumps with patent bow

Be still my heart. The most perfect pair of pumps I’ve ever seen.  I’m always game for a shoe that can transition between the audition room and the board room.

What’s on your Christmas dream wish list?

cosy by the fire

cosy by the fire

Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

I’ll admit it: for me, we have officially reached the holiday season. I held out for as long as I could. I, too, scoffed at the sinfully arrival of Santas and snowmen to the store shelves. I denied myself the pleasure of Peppermint park and holiday cocoa.

But I simply cannot hold out any longer.

This morning, I decorated my room for the holidays, complete with garlands, snowglobes, and, of course, Christmas lights hung over the window. I listened to my Josh Groban holiday Pandora station as I drove cross town all morning.

And this evening, I will spend some time organizing my Holiday Bucket List.

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived in Lauren’s heart, Are you all managing to hold out any longer?

Here’s a little piece of gorgeous inspiration for my decorating style. I can’t wait for snow and home!

 

Why I Can’t Shop Online

I am in crisis. A crisis of indecision. And this crisis centers around two pairs: one of ballet flats, and one of sparkling, glimmering earrings. Both contained in the absolutely seductive, sinful, and dangerous collection known as the C. Wonder Flash Sale.

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Ah, the woes of the college fine dresser.

I love fashion. I love dressing well. And I love getting new clothes.

And yet, I can count the number of new items that I have actually bought in the past three months on one hand.

I can have something in my hand, be totally ready to check out, sartorial visions of grandeur dancing through my head; and then, at the last second, my heart freezes up. My hands start to sweat. I begin to counter the thoughts of gorgeous new sweaters/footwear/earrings with the thought that I have to buy groceries in three days. Quicker than you can say “buyer’s remorse,” the offending object has been placed on a random shelf, and I leave the store, empty handed and ashamed, but with a fuller pocket book. This process has continually driven my family and friends crazy. Usually, I only buy something when I’m forced into it by a shopping co-conspirator. At this point, I would say that I spend more time regretting the items I didn’t buy then the few miststeps I’ve made in purchases.

This whirling maelstrom of frugality versus fashion comes to a head whenever I plunge into the world of online fashion. Thanks to shopping sites like RueLaLa and Hautelook, and flash sales from my personal favorites, C. Wonder and Kate Spade, I have a constant influx of preppy fashion splendor rushing into my inbox. 

I almost find something I’d love to have. About once every three days, an item even finds its’ way into my Shopping Cart. But of those chosen few, I think only two items have made their way to my doorstep in the past few months. Both of them were under $10.

The truth is, while I love the convenience of shopping online, I just can’t handle the finality of the numbers that pop up when you hit “sub-total.” Shipping costs kill me. Add to that the agony of waiting for the item to arrive. You don’t have anything in your hand when you trade in your money. I’m basically swiping my Visa on a wing and a prayer, hoping my new ballet flats will arrive and fit, Cinderella-style.

The jury is still out on this one. What do you guys think? How much time do you spend deliberating on purchasing decisions?