Little Red

Costume one complete! Can't wait to get this pretty Little Red Riding Hood together with her big bad wolf :)  (Although the adorableness of that scenario may just be the death of me!) A big thank you to my mother-in-law for turning some random Salvation Army fabric into something beautiful for my little girl - amazing how a cape and a basket can transform a regular old outfit into a cute costume.

I'm so glad I made an executive decision on our costumes this year - Violet was changing her mind every hour and seemed generally really stressed out about the whole costume situation, so I decided to go with one of her first choices which was Little Red Riding Hood, and have Lucy be the wolf, myself as the Grandma, and Kev as the woodsman. At first I felt guilty that I was making the choice for her, but since I did that Violet has been so much more excited about dressing up and tells everyone about our family costumes :) And the best part is, after she explains what we're all going to be to someone, she always adds, "But Daddy won't actually kill baby Luce, because we love her! It's just pwetend." Glad you cleared that one up, kid. Lord, I love being a mama :) xo, Lauren

Living Life

A-Lovely-Lark-Halloween-Parade Sorry I've been MIA for the past few days - we've just been living life to the fullest lately - if I haven't mentioned it already, Fall is one of my absolute favorite seasons. There are SO many amazing things to do at this time of year and we're trying to soak up as much of it as we can. This past weekend was the Halloween parade, a Fall festival, and a pumpkin carving party with a few friends. This week I'm furiously working on pulling together our costumes together before trick-or-treat on Thursday. Luckily my mother-in-law helped out with the cape situation (Violet is going as Red Riding Hood), because sewing is not my forte, so the main thing is taken care of. I just have to do some crafting with felt and stop at the party store for an old lady wig (I'm going as grandma). Hopefully I'll be back to posting regularly soon! Hope you're enjoying the season as much as we are! xo, Lauren

My Everyday: How We Do the Grocery Store

My phone decided to freak out on me and I can't access any of my photos at the moment, so instead here's a fun one that my girlfriend snapped of me at the park - Violet had a meltdown (she was tired, had a cold, and it was miserably hot and sunny), we were a fair distance from the car, and she was refusing to walk, so I borrowed my friend's Ergo carrier, strapped Violet onto my back, and made a dash for the car. NOT how we do the grocery store (I'm not insane I swear!) Here's how we actually do the grocery store...

After I had Lucy I quickly realized that running simple errands was now going to take some serious strategizing. Luckily Kev does a lot of our grocery shopping now (thanks honey!), but on occasion I have to get groceries. On those days here's what we do:

Lucy goes in the Ergo carrier. Our grocery store does provide carts onto which you can safely strap your car seat, but then Violet is forced to walk and I have to lug the car seat up to the store and hunt for those particular carts which are not always in the same spot, gah! So we've given up on that and just keep it simple with the Ergo. Violet either walks or goes in the cart. She always wants the car cart (does your grocery store have those? That thing that seems like a cute idea before you become a parent, but then you realize that the thing is seriously like driving a tractor trailer?) Now that I have two kids I've learned that I just have to say no for my own sanity. I also take advantage of the deli kiosk - it saves so. much. time. I go there first, punch in my deli order, and come back after I've done the rest of my shopping to pick up my lunchmeat and cheese. It seriously shaves at least ten minutes off of my shopping trip!

Since they've both gotten older and I've gotten more experienced with juggling two kids the grocery store has gotten a lot easier, but when Lucy was a newborn and Violet had just turned three, there were some seriously trying times. On one particular occasion I was completely exhausted when I left the store - Violet had had a couple of tantrums (she was newly three and had a tough time adjusting to sharing me right after I had Lucy), I was still sore from giving birth, had sprinted to the restroom twice carrying both of them (toddler pee emergency!), Violet had spilled her snack all over the floor in one of the aisles, and I was incredibly sleep deprived. I just wanted to cry as I was finally putting my grouchy preschooler, fussing infant, and giant cart full of groceries into the car, when a sweet older woman came up and gave me a smile and a knowing look. She said, "I know how tired you must be sweetie - let me take that cart back to the store for you." It was such a small gesture, but it made such a difference. Amazing how one small, kind gesture from a stranger can completely change your day for the better!

And here's how some of my favorite blogging mamas do the grocery store:

Dani of Sometimes Sweet:

How I do the grocery store has drastically changed in the past two months with the birth of my second son. Now, it's all about planning ahead (put the baby in the wrap, get my oldest out of the car, put him in the cart, plan ahead in case of a toddler meltdown or other bump in the road...). At first it was challenging but now juggling two kids and six grocery bags has become my new (crazy) normal. I am in awe of the mamas who do it with three or more little ones!

And Drea of OhDearDrea:

The grocery is easy for us. Every other week we pick up a share of vegetables at a stranger's house (not as creepy as it sounds), and the other weeks we grab a sweater for the air conditioned and chilly Whole Foods and plop down in a cart. Sometimes we snack, usually we don't. And Marlowe ALWAYS helps to unload the cart - it's a must. 

Thanks ladies! I can so relate to the sweater - it's a must for us too, our grocery store is seriously like a refrigerator! What's up with that? If you want to read more of Dani's writing, here is one of my favorite recent posts from her blog about adjusting to two kids, and a genius idea from Drea for when you have to be away from your little ones. If you've written a post about doing the grocery store/Target/something similar with your little ones you can link up here (or just leave a comment as usual!):

And here's the schedule for the rest of the series if you want to play along:
  • Wed Nov 13th - Typical Lunch
  • Wed Nov 20th - Naptime
  • Dec 4th - Favorite Holiday Traditions
  • Wed Dec 11th - Favorite toys
  • Wed Jan 15th - Getting the chores done
  • Wed Jan 29th -Typical Dinner 
  • Wed Feb 12th - Arts & Crafts
  • Wed Feb 26th - Bedtime
P.S. My Everyday Stories We're Reading and my Mom Uniform.

Oh, Fall

A-Lovely-Lark-Oh-FallCorn mazes, nighttime hayrides, colorful mums, golden hues, round pumpkins, cozy sweaters - such a beautiful season, I don't want it to end! I'm looking forward to Halloween. After Violet has changed her mind about a gazillion times, we made an executive decision that we're going to be Red Riding Hood (Violet), the big bad wolf (Lucy), the woodsman (Kevin), and Grandma (yours truly). Trying to make our costumes on the cheap - we'll see what happens! xo, Lauren

Lucy's super adorable sweater is c/o Totoknits and her headband is from Juniper Wilde.

P.S. Picking out mums and finding the perfect pumpkin last year (what a little munchkin Violet was!)

P.P.S. The winner of the Pampers/P&G Giveaway is Jess J. Thanks to all who entered!

10 Best Babywearing Costumes


Hi all! Just wanted to pop in to let you know that I'm sharing my ten favorite babywearing costumes over on the Ergobaby blog today! Pop on over if you'd like to check it out. xo, Lauren

P.S. Isn't this Harry Potter baby just adorable? You can actually purchase this costume over on MammasMilk on Etsy.

Get On My Shelves!


I'm completely smitten with these pretty children's books over at Anthropologie - curse you Penguin for making me want to re-buy books that I already own!

My Everyday: My Mom Uniform

I think it's an understatement to say that my everyday wear has changed since becoming a mama. Now instead of just considering, "Do I feel good in this?" I have to think about if it's appropriate for nursing and practical for all of the bending over, crouching down, jumping, tree climbing, sliding, and sitting on the floor that comes with being a parent. Also, comfort ranks much MUCH higher on my list these days.

As a result I generally wear a nursing tank under my shirt in place of a bra, that way when I lift up/unbutton my shirt to feed my tummy isn't hanging out. I choose looser more forgiving tops to hide that last five to ten pounds in my mid-section. I also like longer shirts so that when I bend down I'm not showing skin.

As far as pants are concerned I think jeggings are the way to go! While I HATE that word - sounds so gross lol, I love the look and feel. And FLATS. Makes me feel somewhat put together while allowing me to carry my girls all over creation if necessary. My heels get busted out for playing dress up and the occasional date night and otherwise they basically collect dust in my closet, as does my jewelry. It's just not worth getting a necklace yanked off, earrings ripped out, or accidentally stabbing/scratching/scraping my babe with a ring. Last but not least is the essential ponytail/top bun/braid. Otherwise I believe I would have maybe three hairs left to my name.

This outfit is one of my go-to's. The top is Old Navy (similar), jeggings are actually Gap maternity lol (on super sale), and flats are Old Navy as well. Which reminds me that I forgot to mention cheap ranks high on my list as well!

Here are some of my favorite blogging mamas' uniforms:

Brandy of Heart & Habit:

Jeans and t-shirts all the way, comfort and style are inseparable in my books - also as a Mom it's really great to be able to add super cute scarf like this one to an everyday outfit.

Dina of Honey & Fitz:

My mom uniform changes pretty dramatically with the seasons. With Fall in full swing here in Boston, I can be found pretty much every day in some variation of this:

  • A comfortable and cute shirt, preferably with pockets because I always need to bring 129 things up or down the stairs and my hands are usually busy carrying a baby! American Eagle and Aerie have some super cute cowl neck sweatshirt options right now. So, ya know, you don't actually feel like you're just wearing a sweatshirt. ;)
  • Leggings or skinny jeans.
  • Riding boots or ballet flats, depending on the weather. My favorite pair are from Anthropologie a few seasons back.

Joni of Lay Baby Lay:

My uniform is typically skinny jeans or pants with a longer, flowy top.  It's easy, quick, and I love not worrying about my top riding up or getting awkwardly positioned.  My red Converse are a favorite for the park or walks; they are comfortable, but still feel somewhat put together, and now that it's getting (very slightly!) cooler, I sometimes switch them up with booties and throw on a cardigan for warmth.

Thanks ladies! Check out all of their blogs - they are amazing ladies. Brandy has the most adorable and stylish kids, Joni whips up amazing idea boards for kids' rooms, and Dina is a DIY maven. They're all on my regular blog roll, and if you don't already read their blogs I bet you'll love them as much as I do!

So what about you? Link up your go-to mom uniform below or leave a comment telling us what's changed about your style since you became a mama.

  • Wed Oct 23rd - How we do the grocery store
  • Wed Nov 13th - Typical Lunch
  • Wed Nov 20th - Naptime
  • Dec 4th - Favorite Holiday Traditions
  • Wed Dec 11th - Favorite toys
  • Wed Jan 15th - Getting the chores done
  • Wed Jan 29th -Typical Dinner 
  • Wed Feb 12th - Arts & Crafts
  • Wed Feb 26th - Bedtime

A Winner + A New Giveaway!

[This giveaway is no longer accepting entries]

So I know I owe you all a winner for the National Builder Supply giveaway! Sorry for my tardiness, but Violet has been sick again (this time a stomach bug/fever - ugh), so I'm a bit behind on these things - I hope you'll understand! So without further ado - the winner is ThisSideOfGaudy! Please email me to claim your prize! And for everyone else, don't fret, I've go another great giveaway lined up for you today! 

I'm really excited to be partnering with Pampers and Procter & Gamble to offer you a $50 gift card that can be used at Acme, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaws, Lucky, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Shop’n Save, Hornbacher’s or Shoppers, as well as a pack of Pampers Wipes Baby Fresh! 

Pampers is the only brand we use on our babes (we use the Sensitive type), because it was the only diaper that our sweet Violet could use without getting a horrible rash. Her skin was super sensitive due to her FPIES, and I was so appreciate that there was a disposable diaper on the market that she could wear. While I would have surely considered cloth diapering had I been able to stay home with her longer, that wasn't an option, so I'm not sure what we would've done without our Pampers Sensitives! 

Not only are they already our favorite brand, but Pampers has been making improvements to their Pampers Swaddlers - they're now available in size 3 & 4 at Acme. Swaddlers 3 and 4 will include both the wetness indicator and absorb-away mesh liner that we love in the smaller Swaddlers sizes (yay!).  Plus Pampers wants to provide mom visual cues of comfort and protection, so they are adding an umbilical notch on Size 1 & 2.

Babies’ health and safety is the number one priority at Pampers. They have a very rigorous safety assessment process that all of their products go through before ANY baby uses the product, as well as ongoing checks during their production to ensure each Pampers product meets the highest safety standards. Thanks Pampers for the prizes and for keeping my babies' bums healthy!!!

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below. xo, Lauren

P.S. The prize pack was provided by Procter & Gamble - all opinions stated are my own. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents. Entries will be accepted through Friday, October 18, 2013.

[This giveaway is no longer accepting entries]

A Moment for Me

Since becoming a mama of two I can probably count on one hand the number of moments I've had to myself. I mean, I haven't had a haircut since before Lucy was born, or a girls' night out, or really a full night's sleep for that matter. And I'm not complaining - it comes with the territory of being a parent, am I right? I am completely and utterly in love with my girls and am absolutely thrilled that I'm able to stay home with them for over a year - I feel SO incredibly lucky. But let's be honest, everyone needs a little time to themselves now and again!

So needless to say I was over the moon when Häagen-Daz called to chat about partnering on their "Moment for Me" campaign. I mean, literally they told me the name of the campaign and I was like, "Um...yes please!". Basically it's all about celebrating those little moments that you take for yourself, or even doing something you love with your loved ones - whether it's a hot cup of tea while your little ones are napping, going to pick pumpkins with your family, or...getting your hair cut perhaps?? So I'll be sharing those types of moments here on A Lovely Lark as well as on my Instagram feed with the tag #HDmoment and we'd love for you to join in too! (Plus, extra special crazy bonus - I get a box of ICE CREAM delivered to my doorstep each month (see exhibit A above). I mean, seriously? Is this real life!?) Thanks Häagen-Daz! xo, Lauren

Creating a Costume - The Hoodie Modification


Another inexpensive and easy way to create a costume for your little one is to modify a basic hoodie. My love for this method is not new - I first discovered it via this Etsy shop a few years ago. It's cheap, easy, and the best part is it's WARM for those of you who live in a place where October 31st = cold.

There are like a billion Etsy shops where you can buy these (just search "hoodie costume"), but they're pretty easy to make on your own with a little felt/fabric and a hot glue gun. Here are some fun examples and tutorials to spark your imagination:
I could go on and on - the possibilities are seriously endless!

Image Source: Mokkasin

Creating a Halloween Costume

When I create Halloween costumes for my kids, I usually try to do it on the cheap. And by that I don't mean that I'm some sewing or crafting or knitting wizard that can create an elaborate costume from scratch. I mean I try to use things that we already own to create something they'll love. Of course, I usually have to buy or DIY a few small things - a hat, a cowgirl vest, and the like, but mostly I just use clothing from the closet and random stuff from my crafting bin. Here's what I'm talking about:

On the left is my daughter on her first Halloween. We took her to the neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat and at the last minute I decided she should have a costume. I made a witch hat out of felt and pinned it to one of her fabric headbands, put on her striped dress and some black tights, and made a broom out of a dowel rod and some yarn. On the right is last year's trick-or-treat. Basically her own clothing with a vest I made using this tutorial (again out of felt and hot glue lol), her Poppy's bandana and a hat that her dad picked up at the local party store.

The beauty of using actual clothing to create your kid's costume is that you don't have to break the bank for a store-bought costume that's going to fall apart after you wash it once. And even if you do end up buying a new pair of tights or a dress or a pair of boots, they can use it for a significantly longer period of time, so you feel like you're not spending a ton of money for a few hours of wear. Here are a few ideas for you after the jump (feel free to substitute things that your kid already has in his/her closet):

My Everyday: Stories We're Reading

Sorry I'm a bit late on this post! It was supposed to run last week, but we were all sick and it just didn't happen. But better late than never, am I right? In case you missed the first post in the series, My Everyday is all about what a typical day looks like for other mamas. Some of my favorite bloggers have agreed to share bits and pieces of their everyday lives here on A Lovely Lark, and there's a link up below for you to add your own posts (or if you don't have a blog, you can let us know what stories you're littles are loving in the comments!) 

Lately when we read, Violet actually likes to read to Lucy. No, she can't read words yet, but she knows a lot of her stories by heart and makes up the rest from the pictures. It's so much fun to watch as a mom!

A lot of our books these days actually come from the Salvation Army. Most are 25-50 cents a book, which you really can't beat, and a lot are in great condition. It's definitely a hunt to dig through all of the shelves and bins and boxes compared to typing in the title of a book on Amazon, but it's worth the savings for sure! Sometimes I have to dig a book back out of Violet's basket that I know she won't like and sneak it back onto the shelf :) I think she enjoys the hunt just as much as I do! Her current favorite books include anything Disney princess, Are You My Mother? and Little Owl Lost (which are very similar storylines), I Want My Hat Back (although she doesn't quite get the story yet she still loves it anyway), a book of fairy and folk tales, and most Dr. Seuss tales.

Next up is Shari of Spearmint Baby. Did you know that her youngest, Rexford, was born only a few days before Violet? We were pregnant "together" and I worked with Shari for a bit when I contributed to Spearmint Baby - she's one of the nicest and hardest working ladies I know! Here's what stories her kids are into...

Hi A Lovely Lark readers! I'm Shari from and I'm guest posting today for Lauren's "Our Everyday" series...

So, a bit about reading...

This is the first year that both of my kids are going to school full time. Harper is 4.5 and Rexford is 3.5 years. They attend a Spanish immersion elementary school that starts at 3 years old. It is a fabulous curriculum that teaches about a third of the six hour day in Spanish. Once they reach kindergarten it will be 50/50 English/Spanish.  When we walk into the classroom each morning we are greeted with, "Buenos dias!" and all kinds of friendly Spanish chatter. It is fascinating to see all of these little ones following Spanish direction already. No joke when they say children are like little sponges! When I pick the kids up from school Harper is usually singing some fun Spanish song (lately Un Elefante se Balanceaba) the entire ride home. She has also started correcting my pronunciation on things like "verde" and "delicioso!"

A few weeks ago, the school sent home the first of the monthly Scholastic Reading Club flyers. The flyers look exactly the same as they did 25 years ago... that same newspaper print! Since they are at an immersion school, Harper and Rex brought home both English and Spanish book flyers. We ordered a ton of new books, mostly in Spanish since our current book collection is almost entirely in English. I love the idea of ordering from Scholastic because each book you purchase earns points for the classroom library. Supporting the public school system and its fabulous teachers is really important to me!

Almost every evening after school we pick out a few of our new books, get into bed, and spend about 15 minutes reading together.  The kids are usually exhausted so laying in bed with a bunch of books feels like the right thing to do! (If you're interested all of the books below can be found and ordered through

Thanks so much Lauren for letting me share a bit about the stories we are reading!

And last but not least here's a peek at Drea of OhDearDrea's sweet little Marlowe reading her stories of choice:

Here is the schedule of topics in the My Everyday series if you want to play along!

  • Wed Oct 16th - My mom uniform
  • Wed Oct 23rd - How we do the grocery store
  • Wed Nov 13th - Typical Lunch
  • Wed Nov 20th - Naptime
  • Dec 4th - Favorite Holiday Traditions
  • Wed Dec 11th - Favorite toys
  • Wed Jan 15th - Getting the chores done
  • Wed Jan 29th -Typical Dinner 
  • Wed Feb 12th - Arts & Crafts
  • Wed Feb 26th - Bedtime

Creating a Cozy Space for Fall


Have I mentioned that Fall is one of my favorite seasons? It all just makes me want to curl up by a cozy fire and read a good book (perhaps whilst sipping hot apple cider?) While that's probably not going to happen with Violet and Lucy keeping me busy, but nonetheless I've been dreaming up a space that would be just right for my Fall fantasy (no, nothing to do with football!). Wouldn't this just make the perfect cozy space by a crackling fire? You can find sources for all of these items and more over at my ideabook on xo, Lauren

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win $100 to National Builder Supply!

P.P.S. My dream laundry room and a circus-inspired nursery.

Giveaway: Win $100 to National Builder Supply!

[This giveaway is no longer accepting entries]

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5

The best part of partnering with National Builder Supply on our kitchen lighting is that they've offered a $100 credit for one A Lovely Lark reader! Not only do they sell pendant lighting (see my favorites above), but also table lamps, sconces, floor lamps, and kitchen and bath items like sinks, faucets, bathtubs, shower heads, and more. To enter, simply visit National Builder Supply and leave a comment letting us know how you would use your $100 credit. Good luck! xo, Lauren

Only open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends on Friday, October 11th at 11:59 PM. 

[This giveaway is no longer accepting entries]

Kitchen Update (Let there be light!)

You may remember the hideousness of our plastic light fixture from the before photos of our kitchen. It was meant to look like a capiz shell pendant, but it was definitely plastic and definitely not our style.

The other light in our kitchen was a very dated ceiling fan. They always drove me crazy, not only because of how they looked, but also because they weren't centered with the windows. So I was thrilled when National Builder Supply contacted us to review pendant lights for the kitchen!

National Builder Supply is an an online wholesaler of kitchen, bath, and lighting fixtures, and they have a huge selection to choose from. We had a really difficult time deciding, because they had a ton of amazing options, but in the end we decided to go for classic schoolhouse pendants. Since our tiny casa is from the 1930's, we've often gone the more classic route with choices for our decor (like the hexagon and subway tiles in our bathroom for instance). I love the copper/bronze finish - it really adds character and helps to warm up the space. I think it's also going to look amazing once we get the knobs and pulls on the cabinets and drawers. We're thinking of going with an oil-rubbed bronze, kind of like this:

Kev was super busy with helping me get the cabinets ready for the big reveal, so he didn't have much time to dedicate to the lighting situation. Luckily my grandfather was an electrician, so my dad is really handy with that kind of thing and helped us out. (Thanks Daddy!) It's amazing how much more light they shed - it's so much easier to see when we're preparing food! I think Lucy will miss the ceiling fan - she would probably stare at it forever, but I am SO happy it is gone.

Thank you so much to National Builder Supply for helping us out with the kitchen update, we couldn't be happier with the results! Next on my to-do list for the kitchen is cabinet and drawer hardware - we've been living without knobs and pulls since August, so I'm ready to get going on that project.

Stay tuned for a giveaway to National Builder Supply later today! xo, Lauren

Favorite Parenting Links Lately

Sorry for the lack of posting last week! We were all a bit under the weather with colds. Violet , Kev and I are feeling (mostly) better, but poor little Lucy still has the sniffles. (Luckily she loves the snot sucker :)) Without further favorite parenting links from around the interwebz as of late:

1. Six words to say to your child - I've been using this one a lot lately!

2. New baby smell is real - as good as cocaine in fact?!

3. A unique take on the behavior chart + funny parenting fails.

4. Parenting then vs. parenting now.

5. How to be a better mom in five steps.

6. You're doing okay, ma.

P.S. You can follow us on Instagram @alovelylark

P.P.S. Favorite parenting links from September and how other mamas feed their kids in the morning.

Making Life a Little Easier with PanacheBox

Speaking of Fall, one thing I didn't have much time for this year was shopping for a new cold-weather wardrobe for my growing little girl. While I usually love scouring the interwebs for a good deal on "blue, wed, and puhple" clothing, with sweet little Lucy around shopping whether in person or online is just not an easy task any more. So I was thrilled to try out PanacheBox - basically beautiful (and comfortable) kids' clothing mailed to your doorstep!

When the box arrived I was smitten with it's fun shape (we made it into a Barbie castle!) and waited to see what my picky daughter would think of it's contents. Well, she was not disappointed - there were many, "oohs!" and "Oh my's!" - especially when she found a pretty necklace inside.

I love that the clothing is high quality and that everything works well with her existing wardrobe. Every piece is very versatile, so were able to mix and match things so easily, and she wears the clothing for all of her normal little person activities - tree climbing, park play, napping, and flower picking. I'm hapy that it's all practical for a kid on the go.

Violet's decided that this (below) is her "special" necklace and wears it all of the time. One thing I really love about this piece is that it has a magnetic closure, which is strong enough that it holds up with all of the normal rompings of a three-year-old, but is easy enough that she can put it on and take it off herself, which she LOVES to do. It's also playful, but goes well with just about anything she decides to wear (I lay out a few pieces each day and she picks her own outfits - little Miss Independent ;))

There are two ways you can build your PanacheBox - you can choose items yourself from their website or have them create a custom box for you little one. After looking at the site Violet and I liked just about everything, so we opted to be surprised - I really don't think you can go wrong! If you're like me and feeling a little overwhelmed with life, definitely check out the site - anything to make more time for my girls and less time for running errands is super amazing in my book! Plus they're offering readers of A Lovely Lark $50 off with the coupon code LARK through October 30th!

Happy Fall! xo, Lauren


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