Monday, September 26, 2016

Area Rug Round Up

Our living room rug takes a beating. We are not a “no shoes” household, Paul and I eat dinner at the coffee table EVERY night, and I am generally a spill-prone person, especially when I’m trying extra hard not to spill. I’m also inclined to change things up, frequently. Hence, we got a new rug (pictures coming Friday)! Considering we live in toddlerville at the moment, Paul and I made the collective decision to buy inexpensive, comfortable rugs and continue to switch them out every 2-3 years. 

I scoured the internet for discounted rugs, hitting up the usual sites: Wayfair, RugsUSA, Overstock, Ikea… I was finding plenty of rugs I loved, but not at prices I could live with – especially knowing Roswelle will inevitably spill milk on it soon after its arrival. My mom suggested I look at the rugs on HomeDepot’s website. I skeptically browsed the site, and was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but multiple affordable rugs that I actually liked, even loved! (this post is not sponsored, but it might as well be)

Below I have categorized my favorite area rugs at price points of $300, $600, and $900; all from My advice when searching for your new rug is to keep it simple, keep it classic. I have fallen into the trap of buying a trendy rug, hello espresso Chevron 5x8 rug of 2012 (if you search back far enough on the blog, you will find it!). Everything about it was wrong, the pattern was trendy, the color was bold, and the size was WAY too small – none of the furniture even touched the edges! I’ve come a long way since then, and I now select complimentary, comfy, cost-efficient rugs.

I haven’t personally tested these rugs, so I would rely heavily on customer reviews if considering to purchase.  I will say the return process is seamless.  I had a rug shipped to my local Home Depot store, changed my mind as I found a similar, slightly less expensive one at HomeGoods, and was able to return the rug for a full refund from the store without ever bringing home! We are in need of a new bedroom rug as well and I will be returning to this list when I decide to buy it!

Area Rugs // Under $300

 1 |  2 |  3 | 4 | 56 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Area Rugs // Under $600

Links //
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Area Rugs // Under $900

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 (on sale now!!) | 5 | 6

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Home Sweet Georgia

Today Paul, Roswelle, and I fly back to our home in Boston. I've enjoyed 8 full days in my hometown, Dawsonville, GA. Someone asked me yesterday what I've been up to while home; my mom and I looked at each other and both replied "anything and everything!" We have busy days on the go, visiting here and there; and then days where we don't leave my mom's house except for a walk up the drive to see her neighbors new labrador puppies.

I'm thankful for Paul's ability to work remotely, Roswelle's lack of school schedule, and my stay-at-home mom schedule which allows for frequent visits.

Below are some pictures that will hold me over until we are back in November for more Fall football. 

{the first glimpse of North Georgia Fall}
{my mom's house has a large white wall with great light that inspires me to take more pictures - this was right after going to see my friend/stylist Ashley at J. Thomas Salon}
{I secretly love hearing the groans and seeing the eye-rolls of my brothers when I put out new veggies for dinner - this time it was roasted beets. Carson decided to make a quick trip to Chick-fil-A instead}
{each night I plan to wake up extra early and enjoy a cup of coffee while looking out on the calm lake. I never do, and instead sleep past 9...}
{he is always right under my feet when I am home and I wouldn't have it any other way}
{forever patiently waiting for the accidental, and frequent, drop of food}
{exposing her to the magic of high-school football - she loved it!} 
 {this pretty much sums up a high school guy's attitude towards forced senior pictures}
{a sneak peak of a senior picture session I did this week - will be sharing more pictures of this sweet girl soon!}

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Salad Tacos

In September, I'm not quite ready for a warm crockpot meal, as the chill hasn't quite hit the air yet. However, I'm over my summer salad kick. Recently, I've started taking all of my salad ingredients (including the dressing!), rolling them up in a corn tortilla, dipping in a salsa, giving me just enough change in our dinner menu. It's a great refresh on ingredients I already love. (The corn tortillas also meet my GF/DF diet restrictions - Mexican food has become a safe haven for me)

As more and more Fall vegetables become in season, I plan to bake them along with my chicken breasts (which I always cook on the bone). Asparagus, beets, even butternut squash would all be great additions.

For recipe details, see end of post. Enjoy! xo Lauren

Y'all. My secret sauce to tacos is white balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Each taco only needs a splash. It may seem out of place, but give it a try!


• Coat Chicken Breast (on bone) with sliced bell peppers in avocado oil, salt, & pepper. Bake at 400ยบ for 1 hour. Broil on high for 5-10 minutes until skin is crispy. 
• Prepare avocado, arugula, limes, salsa and cheese if desired
• Broil corn tortillas for 2 minutes
• Combine ingredients, fold and enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Traveling with Baby: Carry-on Guide

I've flown with Roswelle literally too many times to count. Our first flight was when she was 9 weeks old and her most recent flight will be this afternoon for a trip to GA to visit family. Traveling with a baby has multiple challenges, and they change with the age of the child (or children). Below I've highlighted some of my favorite products for traveling with children from 0 to 2+ years of age. Some of the products might be obvious, some not so much, and I've written a quick blurb as to why each item was selected.

Travel with Baby
This is a great age to fly. Challenges: keeping their ears unplugged from altitude change, going to the bathroom with a baby attached to you (if flying alone - which I often do), and keeping germs away from your baby!!!! Perks: The plane will lull them to sleep, you don't need to pack too much to keep them occupied, and they are fairly predictable at this age. 

Items to carry-on...
1: Changing Station - most planes have a small changing station, however some older planes won't. You may find yourself changing your baby on the floor in the back of the plane. Even if you are lucky enough to have a changing station in the bathroom, you will want this pad to make things easier.
2: Medela hand pump - I pray you never have a delay while on a plane with a baby, but there is a chance it will happen. If your baby isn't nursing, or you just need some relief, this manual hand-pump is a great solution when you don't have access to an outlet for power.
3: Infantino 360 Carrier - So many carriers are $150+ which is just absurd, even though I'm pretty sure I have one. However, this Infantine brand is affordable at $29.99 and works so well! I would strap Roswelle into our carrier on the flight and after she fell asleep I would have my hands free to read a magazine - such a treat.
4: Downtown Tote - You will need a large sturdy bag to carry all that a baby requires.  This pottery barn tote is stylish and useful with lots of pockets inside. 
5: Stanley Thermos - Whether you have packed pre-pumped milk or using formula, it is always great to have a way to warm up the bottle for baby. This thermos will keep water piping hot all day long and is big enough that you can pop the bottle in the canteen of hot water, close it up, and in 10 minutes or less you have a warm bottle.
6A: Oh Joy! Swaddle Blanket - I love the swaddle blankets because they cover so much space and are super light weight. I would keep one over Roswelle when in the carrier or my arms, and God forbid you sit next to someone with a cough, your baby will be all the more protected.
6B: Oh Joy! Flamingo - just super cute and takes up little space in your bag.
7: WubbaNub - So obvious, but so important that it must be included on this list.

Travel with Baby

In my opinion this is by farrrrr the hardest age to fly with a baby. They are less likely to sleep on the plane and they want to move move MOVE!! I highly suggest flying with a partner during this age but if you must fly alone (again I did 60% of the time, so it can be done!) here are some items that will make the flight less traumatic for you (I silently cried many times mid-flight during this stage)...

Items to carry-on...

1: Oh Joy! Backpack Diaper Bag - A backpack will come in handy when chasing your walker/runner around the airport, jetway, or airplane aisle. I love the Oh Joy! line at Target. 
2: Jellycat Puppy - The Jellycat brand is a universal hit with little humans and the puppy seems to be a front runner! If you don't have one yet, maybe wait until the flight to bring it out? Your baby will be delighted with a new, interesting toy to hold during the flight.
3: Water Wipes - Regular wipes are great, but I don't love using them on Roswelle's food containers, hands, or mouth. These chemical free version is a safer way to wipe the mess away.
4a: Food Pouches - Food, food, food, and more food. I stuffed Roswelle silly on flights during this age.
4b: Little Yums - Another favorite, more bang for your buck and organic.
5: Munchkin 360 Sippy Cup - It took her a while to figure these out, but once she did it became a favorite brand of her's and mine and is less likely to leak.
6: Karen Katz Books - At this age, she loved flap books and being quizzed on body parts. Karen Katz fills our bookshelf!

Travel with Baby
I am LOVING this age for flying. Roswelle gets her own seat next to me (tough on the budget, but so good for my soul). She has a longer attention span, will sit still longer, and I can sometimes even reason with her! 

Items to carry-on....
1: Affordable Urbini Stroller - Never give up the stroller when traveling. So many airports have express security lines for strollers. I plan to have Roswelle in one at the airport until she is 6 ;) I wouldn't suggest bringing an expensive brand as they will make you gate-check the stroller and we have had one broken. We love the urbini brand from Wal-mart and it costs only $60.
2. Trader Joe's Fruit Bars - These have been a favorite of mine for some time now. Roswelle loves them and I know exactly what ingredients are in them.
3: Personalized Backpack - Have your toddler help with the load! Roswelle loves wearing her personalized backpack gifted from Aunt Jenny and Uncle Rob. And it frees up some space in my purse.
4: Disney's Lady - Bring a favorite stuffed animal ("Lady" for Roswelle) and maybe a new one (Tramp) or a new toy for a guaranteed good mood.
5: Bandaids - Roswelle loves bandaids at the moments, and they take up little space when packing but provide a good amount of entertainment.
6a: iPad Kid Case - Do you like sitting on a 3 hour flight without something to watch/read/entertain you? I doubt it, so why make your toddler? This is a time when I 100% promote some screen-time.
6b: On ear Headphones - Roswelle is just now agreeing to wear these at age two and I just keep the volume down super low.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Favorite Things

I'm timidly dipping my toe back into the blogging pool. I'm excited to come back to this great little platform for inspiring, sharing, and creating - I've missed it! I'll be attempting to write 2x a week, I hope y'all stay tuned.

Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday for what to pack when traveling with a baby, which is fitting as Roswelle and I are flying to GA that very day! 

Below are pictures of things around the house that are making me happy

{this droopy seeded eucalyptus is quite uplifting on our kitchen table}
{I got this mask as a sample gift and just ordered my second jar as it evens out my skin tone so well}
{sometimes a bookshelf just takes up too much room, this bathroom towel rack is a great space saver}

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Simple September Make-up

While we transition into Fall, I'm excited for knitted sweaters and new thick heeled boots, but I'm planning to extend my simple summer make-up routine for as long as possible. In the warmer months, I wear as little as possible, no foundation, no eyeshadow, and a rare occurrence of eye-liner. With a sun-kissed tan and beach-y hair, you just don't need much, even well into September. I'll never give up mascara though, it can make me feel as awake as a cup of coffee. Do any of y'all agree?

Below I have listed out what I wear every day (also pictured above). 

in order of how I apply...

1) Cover FX Concealer: A beauty consultant at Sephora got me hooked to this product. Cover FX is free of the inflammatory 5: mineral oil, fragrance, gluten, parabens and talc. Made for the most sensitive skin types; it provides a healthy, safe, amazing coverage.

2) Dior Finish Fluid Foundation Brush: I bought this at a make-up party last Fall with Dior's Airflash foundation (which I use in the winter). I love the angled edge and it has never shed on my face.

3) Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara: There has been a cult following for this mascara for some time now, and I only joined in last Fall. Full coverage, lash extension, lasts all day, and washes off easily. I don't know that I will ever switch.

4) Tarte Cheek Stain: I prefer the dewy (supple) look when it comes to make-up which is why I changed to cheek stain a few years ago. I was a fan of Josie Maran's cheek gel for years but when Sephora stopped carrying it, I started using Tarte's stain and I have been more than happy with the results.

5) Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer: I went to Sephora looking for a bronzer without shimmer as I have a theory that the shimmer/sparkle causes my skin to break out. With a fresh coconut scent and just the right amount of color, I left a happy customer! Also, he told me to dab on my bronzer, instead of swiping on which messes up all the work you just did with your concealer, foundation, cheek stain etc! I use a random Essence of Beauty brush to apply which I bought from CVS. I know there are better brushes out there for over-all coverage, but for now this one is working.

6) Maybelline Eyelash Curler: I've tried other brands, but I always come back to the tried and true Maybelline version.

Friday, September 2, 2016

LDW Plans: Chequessett Cafe and Food Truck!

I know for certain this will be our last weekend weekend at the cottage in Truro. We have had no shortage of sun for us this summer. So while the forecast has some cooler temps and clouds, we will be enjoying the yard, food truck, and chasing waves. I pulled out all of the navy and orange I could find to dress Roswelle, Maddie, and Teddy for the big Auburn game on Saturday. War Eagle!

Speaking of food truck, I plan to eat numerous meals at our new favorite spot just a short walk away from the cottage, Chequessett Chocolate Cafe and Joey's Food truck. If you follow on me on Instagram, you know how much I love it there. I've been gluten and dairy free for some time now, and this shop provides a healthy take on all things I crave. The corn tortilla tacos are super satisfying and the coldbrew shakes with cocoa and almond milk from Chequessett feel absolutely indulgent. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of either - I always inhale everything too quickly to get a good picture. However - I do have a cute snap video of Paul and Roswelle about to do 'work, work, work' on the tacos at the end of this post (fingers crossed it actually plays).

As you can see in the pictures below, it's a family favorite! Hope you have a wonderful 3 day weekend.