Christmas Gift Guide 2015


I don't have time in my life at the moment to create oodles of gift guides, but here are a few things that are currently at the top of my list for the kids this year:

Farmington Dollhouse
Beeswax Crayons
The 50 States Book
Home Book
KidKraft Lemonade Stand Set
Potholder Loom
Cubic Dollhouse
Keith Haring Paint Set
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Book
Maps Book
Fawn Doll
Bead Kit
My First Loom

Violet's really into crafty stuff at the moment, and the girls (and I) are obsessed with dollhouses. They really don't need another dollhouse, so I probably won't get either of them, but I'm dying over these two. and Violet loves the Maps and Home books, so I'm hoping she'll like The 50 States just as much! Lucy's also getting a ton of Dora books (it's all she wants to read!) and a used train table off of Craigslist, and Violet wants a Barbie house (if you know of any non-hideous Barbie houses PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!!!) xo, Lauren

Christmas Cards, Here We Come!

Between being extra excited about the holidays this year and begin thrilled with the photos that we miraculously managed to get, I am on my game this year when it comes to Christmas cards! Last year our photos kept getting canceled and rescheduled due to the weather, so we didn't manage to get our cards sent out until New Year's Day rolled around! I've been trolling my favorite site for Christmas cards, Minted, and here are a few of my current faves:

Simple + Sweet:

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5

Shiny + Sparkly:

1. 2. 3. 4

Pictures, pictures, pictures:

1 . 2

And since I'm (for once!) ordering early this year, I am super excited to take advantage of the Black Friday sale - 20% off orders of $150+ or 15% off with no minimum order! Just use code BF2015. Now the hard part - decision making! Which is your favorite? xo, Lauren

*Affiliate links included in this post

Family Photos Fall 2015

Hi all! Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to their holiday season! I'm so excited about the holidays this year, and I'll share why soon - we have a big announcement to make!

In the meantime though, I'll tide you over with a few family photos that a friend recently took for us. I have to keep it real and say that the girls were completely uncooperative for most of the photos. They're such hams when I'm snapping photos of them with my phone, but as soon as I ask someone to take photos with a real camera so that I can actually be IN a few with my family, they tend to get shy and put on their grumpy faces :) So I was completely thrilled to find that she managed to get a few really great shots of our crazy little clan. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo, Lauren

Christmas Finds!

I'm super excited - I found some great Christmas gifts for the girls on Zulily today! Land of Nod, Hape Toys, and Kid Kraft! If you're shopping for your little ones you can find the sales here. xo, Lauren

We Have a Kindergartener!

Well, it's official - and we have a backpack to prove it. We have a kindergartener! I can't believe Violet is going to start school in a few short weeks. Registering her was truly surreal. After we signed her up I went on a frenzied hunt to find the cutest backpack, and after showing her all of my finds she ended up choosing a $15 Sofia the First backpack from Target lol! Oh well, I had fun window shopping anyway. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

(My favorite and her second favorite was the cat backpack - and those unicorns came in a close third!)

Violet & Lucy's Birthday Party


We had another joint birthday party for the girls this year. It's definitely sooo much easier to plan one party than two, but the girls did try to make things a little more challenging for us this year by requesting specific different themes from one another! Lucy wanted a Peppa Pig party (her fave - she goes around snorting and saying things like "post" and "swimming costume"), and Violet wanted a mermaid party with a very specific pink cake with strawberries and a mermaid on it.

Not to be deterred from my one party and done plan, we managed to make it work - we basically just split the table in half and had Lucy's side and Violet's side. We didn't want to spend a lot, so we went with a basic pack of balloons along with the gold number balloons that we do every year, I painted a backdrop on some butcher paper, made table runners out of gift wrap, and made the (slightly lumpy) cakes myself. For the Peppa Pig theme we found some cute printable cupcake wrappers and toppers on Etsy which we cut and assembled. For the mermaid theme it was an Ariel doll and Pinterest to the rescue. I found some easy looking oyster/pearl cookies, bought some rock candy at the local party store, and plopped Violet's Ariel doll on top of the pink-by-her-request cake. All of the other decorations we re-used from previous parties - yippee!

Luckily the girls were thrilled with everything and the only squabble was who got to each which Peppa Pig character :) I call that a success!

Happy birthday girls - love you to the moon and back! xo, Your Mama

A Bedroom Update with Lulu & Georgia


We're still slooowly but surely working on updating our master bedroom - the last major room in the house to get any attention. Is it like that at your house by any chance? I guess because it's the one room that I can close the door and (hopefully) no one will have to see it. At least until we go to bed that is. Anyway, the point is that it's been a bit neglected and I was thrilled when Lulu & Georgia suggested that we partner to spruce up the space a bit. We have a corner in the room that felt a little empty, so I decided that would be my focus. Lulu & Georgia sent over this amazing console table (their Fairmont console) and it is just perfect! They've also sent over a coupon code for all of you to use in case you have a space that needs a little something. Use lovelylark20 to receive 20% off your purchase at Lulu & Georgia. The code is valid for one week after this post. (Keep in mind that L&G ships to the contiguous 48 states only)

I'm so excited to be in our bedroom now! It makes me go to bed earlier and spend more time in the space. It's my new favorite reading corner. And the girls love it too. Violet always asks why my bedroom isn't "pwetty". When I brought her into the room after I was finished she gasped and said, "Mommy - it's beautiful!" I think I might be creating a little decorating diva! Thanks Lulu & Georgia for my beautiful Mother's Day present! xo, Lauren

On Having a Rug in the Kitchen

Since we updated our kitchen, the two most frequent questions I've been asked are, "What paint color did you use on your cabinets," and, "Do you like having a rug in the kitchen?" So I thought I'd do a little update post on the rug situation.

The rug is actually holding up quite well (especially considering that it was a steal at $79!) I do find that I have to vacuum it every other day, as it definitely gets a lot more traffic than some of the other carpets in the house, and it is obviously around food. I am pretty careful about where I prepare messy food - I try to do it on an area of the counter that isn't directly above the carpet in case anything should happen to spill, like when I'm cracking an egg or making spaghetti sauce.

 One issue we had was that the girls kept slipping on it, as I had cheaped out and failed to purchase a rug pad. Luckily we received this one from Rug Pad Corner and it has been lifesaver! It also makes the rug nice and soft underfoot, which as you can see Moe greatly appreciates:

It definitely helped that we chose a very flat, low-pile rug with a fairly busy pattern and darker colors, as I have had to spot-clean it a couple of times. I would definitely never choose to have a light-colored or thick/shaggy rug in a kitchen, or even a dining room for that matter. I love that it makes the room feel a little cozier and less sterile, as kitchens can sometimes tend to be. What about you guys - do any of you have rugs in your kitchens? How is it going for you?

One Lovely Thing

I think that Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. can do no wrong. I can't wait until this gem is available to add to our bookshelf! xo, Lauren

A Lovely Find


I'm currently head-over-heels in love with this adorable play table and chairs set from Oeuf. I certainly can't afford to spend over $200 on a chair for a little person, but there's got to be some sort of DIY inspiration here, am I right?!

Memories of My Grammy

My grandmother passed away this past week. I was asked to write something about my memories of her, and I'd like to share it on here, as this blog for me has come to be a record of the major events in my life. While I love the idea of keeping a diary or journal, or scrapbooking or creating photo albums, I never quite seem to put the idea into practice. But I love scrolling back through my posts labeled "family" or "Violet" or "Lucy" and seeing years past unravel before me.

A random collection of memories of my Grammy:

Crunching gravel down the lane
Jumping in the colorful leaves
The lingering smell of Taboo
Coloring meticulously inside of the lines
Perfectly manicured fingernails
Eat your crust, it will make your cheeks rosy
Playing in the woods outside of the old house on Merrin Lane
Listening to the steady drone of the printer
Chocolate wrappers on special days
Printing banners and posters to our hearts' content
Sweets filled with cream
Spaghetti dinners with angel hair
Dancing to the lilting sounds of the Nutcracker 
Driving home on Christmas Eve with heavy eyes
Playing house on the brick patio, surrounded by yews
The creak of the porch swing
The glow of the fisherman lamp
Shelves filled with toys lining the play room
Blankets, doll clothing, and stockings crocheted with love
Tables piled high with projects
Goodie bags at Christmas
Back scratchers
Wooden deer and an orange afghan
The color purple

When I was asked to write something about my grandmother, I tried to think of one big moment, one really amazing story, but what came to me were the little things - the smells, the sights, the sounds. But really these little moments, these fleeting memories - they are the bits and pieces that make up a life. They are what we carry with us in the end. So in the words of one of my favorite writers, Roald Dahl, who is ever so much more eloquent than me, "Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." We love you, Grammy, and we will carry our memories of you in our hearts, always. Love, Lauren

10 Favorite Posts from 2014

2014 was a great year! I feel like I didn't get to blog as much as I would have liked, but I did get to spend a lot of time with my two beautiful girls, my amazing husband, friends, and start back to work part-time at a job that I love. I'm still proud of what I was able to accomplish, and am looking forward to a fresh start in 2015. Here are a few favorite posts from the past year:

1. Our kitchen update! This has been a long time coming and I'm so excited to finally have a "finished" kitchen.

2. Violet's bedroom. Speaking of her room, I was finally able to finish off her "big girl" bedroom and we both love how it turned out!

3. Fall in Love - one of my favorite idea boards was this gem that I worked on with RH Baby & Child. I would love to be able to bring this one to life, but considering that we might be finished in the baby department, I don't know that it's going to happen!

4. The new gallery wall in the family room. I created this for Apartment Therapy and I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. It's always a great feeling to get some of your favorite artwork out of storage and up onto the wall - it just adds so much personality to a space.

5. Violet and Lucy's birthday party. We decided to go with a shared party this year to keep things simple, but I did have a lot of fun with the party decor!

6. Speaking of parties, we had a lot of fun throwing together a last-minute Halloween bash for our family. We have a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating, so even though our house is teeny-tiny, we tend to be the go-to place on Halloween night.

7. Lucy's nursery. Although the space still isn't "finished" in my eyes, it's definitely a bright and happy space, just like our sweet little girl. Stay tuned for a "reveal" coming soon in 2015!

8. I loved working on this "Spring Fling" nursery with Britax. The pops of gold and pink just feel so fresh and happy!

9. A highlight of the girls' summer was this DIY water table that we created for Glidden paint. They had a blast splashing around in it, and it gave me peace of mind while I was doing other chores outside.

Here's to a fantastic 2015! Happy New Year :) xo, Lauren

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