the two

if you've spent any time around here, you know about my two cats, milo & otis. they're brothers and besties. like, for real. their intimacy borders on incest, but then i remind myself that they're cats, so it's okay. they typically spend the day sleeping, wrestling, and complaining (which always elicits my full and undivided attention, which just elicits more's a vicious cycle). 

and then they do things like this:

and that's when i take endless photos of them. because who can have enough pictures of their cats hugging, right? i can only but assume that one day (hopefully in the far, far future) when they're in kitty heaven, i will frame every single picture i've taken of them and put them on the walls or something. actually, i definitely won't do that...i have to maintain some sense of normalcy in my life.

eh, maybe.

ombré, round two (+ a giveaway)

so, remember a couple weeks ago when i went ombré? well, i decided it wasn't quite dramatic enough. so, i had my sister touch it up and get a little creative with it. just so happens, i love it. i've always been a little bit more adventurous with my hair and style than Kate, but she finally admitted to me that she wishes she had my hair. consider my world rocked.

p.s. she used a 1 1/4 inch curling iron to style it


today's giveaway comes from nicholl of the chiffon diary. she has great personal style and a super cute pup (we all know i'm a sucker for animals). so, check out her blog and then enter to win a $15 target gift card a month's worth of advertising on her blog!

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over the weekend

i had an unexpectedly busy weekend...but it was the good kind of busy. you know, the kind where you get to sunday night and think "man, how did i do all of that stuff in just 3 days?!" know what i mean?

anyway, friday night we went over to a "fear farm" in the area and basically paid a dinner's worth to be scared and run around in the rain. i can tell you that i haven't laughed as hard as i did that night in a long time. one particular moment was a certain dialogue with a certain clown:

clown: who's the girl in the pink?
me: CARRIE. her name is CARRIE. (i guess i have a tendency for throwing my friend's under the bus when it comes to scary things)
clown: hiiiii carrrrrrie (in a really creepy voice) 
[clown proceeds to follow carrie for a good while and whisper weird things in her ear.]

also, my sister is the funniest person to watch on a haunted hay ride. let's just say, she screams and jumps a lot.  
on saturday, some of us did the Color Me Rad 5k, which was SO much fun. if you have the opportunity to do it, you definitely should. it's more of a fun run than a competition (which i'm all about - not a competitive bone in my body) and, hey, you get to throw colored dust at all your friends. what more could you ask for?
and on sunday, we carved pumpkins. it took me about 2 seconds flat to decide to carve a cat (i mean, come on.). kate and my roommate sam decided to go with a little duke theme, which i didn't have a problem with, obviously. 
so, it was a good weekend. and i went to bed at 9:30 one night. NINE THIRTY. and it was kind of the best.

flower child shoppe giveaway

today's giveaway comes from Lauren of Flower Child Jewelry. she's the artist behind the handmade hair flowers and knitted goodness. today, she's giving away one pair of mustard yellow cable-knit fingerless gloves. who doesn't love a pair of fingerless gloves?!


use the giveaway tool below to enter!

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high five for friday

1. halloween cupcakes. enough said.
2. i bought a new monthly planner at barnes & noble this week in order to keep track of everything blog-related. i love organization.
3. the color me rad race is tomorrow! kate and i may or may not have picked up a couple of carolina shirts at marshall's to wear...and we hope they get super trashed, being that we're duke fans and all.
4. a have a new favorite color combination: grey + cobalt.
5. snuggles for days.

how has your week been? link up below and tell me about it!

origami owl giveaway

today's giveaway comes from Chrissy, an independent stylist with Origami Owl.

Origami Owl is a new custom jewelry company that allows you to tell YOUR story with your jewelry.  The company originally started with a 14-year-old girl and a dream.  Bella wanted to save for a car, so she saved babysitting money and started her very own jewelry business.  The product was something fun and fresh – glass lockets filled with charms that were meaningful to the owner.  After much success with her business at a mall kiosk, she decided to go national.  In January 2012, Origami Owl became a direct sales company and continues to grow as people fall in love with the jewelry.    
Want to know how YOU can experience this awesome product?
1.    Tell your story with your own locket!  You can order directly here:
2.    Host a party!  Use the contact info below to book – online parties are fun and a great way to earn free jewelry by hosting through our hostess rewards.
3.    \Join our team!  You can become an independent designer for as little as $149 and earn income while having fun.  Get started at the ground level with this quickly growing company. NOTE: Due to overwhelming interest, there is currently a wait list in place to join.  If there’s even a small chance you want to join, get on the wait list TODAY – there is no obligation to join and you’ll have time to think it over while you wait for your number to be called.  For more information on the opportunity, contact Chrissy Greenberg.
4.     Like us on Facebook! Lots of information (including specials) can be found on this Facebook page.  Be sure to “like” the page here:
Contact Info:
Chrissy Greenberg, Origami Owl Independent Designer
(404) 376-2145

want to enter to win a $20 gift certificate? use the giveaway tool below! 

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NutriFamilyMeals giveaway

today's giveaway comes from Heather at NutriFamilyMeals. here's what she has to say about it: NutriFamilyMeals was started by a mom and dietitian with the goal to get families back around the dinner table and take the stress out of dinner. A new, easy dinner plan is posted weekly including HEALTHY recipes and a shopping list. Just print and go! Eating good has never been so easy. their meal plans are super easy and take all of the thinking out of making dinner...which, let's be honest, is pretty great. if there's one thing that i really do not like to do, it's grocery shopping. i never know what i'm going to be in the mood to eat that week and usually end up buying more than i actually need and throwing things away. so, with NFM's plans, i didn't have that problem. a full grocery list was provided, as well as directions for each dish and when i should eat them. i mean, really, it cannot be easier.
so, if you'd like to give NFM a shot, enter the giveaway tool below for your chance to win one of 5 free one-month memberships for the Family Dinner Plan (which includes  the shopping list, meal plan, and directions)
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so, this one time, i went to a justin bieber concert

...and i loved it. kate and i were easily the oldest non-parents there. and our mom was probably the most excited out of all of us to actually see bieber in real life. what can i say? she's a belieber. (note: i feel like it's important to point out that we actually took our two younger cousins to the wasn't just me, kate, and mom. although, i wouldn't put it past us)

my sister and mom bought ear plugs earlier that day, but we didn't end up using them. however, we all suffered hearing loss thanks to all the tiny girls everywhere that screamed as if it was the last thing they would ever do. it was actually pretty hilarious to people watch before the concert started and see just how excited the little (and grown) girls were.

sidenote: to all the fathers, brothers, uncles, grandpas, and other beer-drinking, chair-sitting, eye-rolling men that i saw there: hats off to you. you must really love the girl(s) in your life to endure that entire concert without crying, puking (especially when bieber took his shirt off), and/or punching anyone. bravo.

ode to leggings

sweater: Loft (old) / leggings: JCPenney / tank: Old Navy / flats & necklace: J Crew

sometimes, i just need a day in leggings and an over-sized sweater. ya feel me?

aimee & co. giveaway

today's giveaway comes from the lovely aimee of aimee & co. she's an incredibly talented graphic designer and i'm so excited to have her as a sponsor here on FMGD. aimee is giving away a $100 shop credit towards her graphic design, which you can find HERE. (fine print: no cash redemption for unused amount. must be used within 30 days. non-transferable.)

she offers everything from website design to pinterest customization and business card design. basically...she does it all! she also blogs at fancy little things.

want to enter to win?

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by the way, this was the view i had last weekend in wisconsin. i miss it already.

high five for friday

1. have you guys heard about the giraffe cam?! there's a giraffe in SC that's due to give birth any day now and you can watch her while she waits. naturally, i've checked in on her everyday. (you can find it here)
2. milo sleeps in easily the weirdest positions i've seen.
3. my new earrings from madewell that i'm kind of in love with.
4. aaaaaand my target clearance gem of a tray that was perfect for my coffee table.
5. sister, roommate, and i went to the state fair on sunday. it's one of those things that you just have to experience.

how was your week? link up below and tell me about it!

hey, you.

just in case no one else tells you today, it's true.

so, you want to start a blog?

i've had quite a few people email me over the last year asking for advice about starting a blog. things like how to get a blog design, how to get sponsors, how to grow a blog, etc. so, i've decided to start a little "blogging 101" series to help answer these questions. i figured that for all the people that actually emailed me, there's gotta be at least that many people that haven't, so these tips are for you!
i want to start off this series with just a few points to think about before you start your blog.

1. pick a good name. you want to choose a name that you love and one that's true to you. something that gives a reader an idea about what your blog will be about and one that's memorable. once you think you've picked the right one, bounce it off of other people and see what they think. let it sit for a few days, and if you still love it, go with it.

2. have some direction. it's important to have an idea of what you will want to focus on for your blog, whether it be fashion, crafting, parenting, health and fitness, cooking, or any combination of topics. it doesn't have to be permanent and can definitely change, but i promise it will help direct your first few posts and help ease you into writing more regularly and finding your sweet spot.

3. be confident. when i started out, i could never have imagined how much my blog would grow over the first year or so. never. i remember being so thrilled when i hit 100 followers (which is a huge accomplishment!) and now i'm hanging out around 2,000, which totally blows my mind. in the beginning, i doubted that people would even be interested in what i had to say, but i stuck with it because i loved doing it...and it worked.

4. be yourself. i cannot stress just how important it is to just be yourself when blogging. find your writing voice and use it! not only will it make reading your blog much more interesting and fun, but it allows readers to learn about who you really are and feel connected to you.

5. do it because you love it, seriously. blogging isn't for everyone. and that is okay. there's nothing wrong with you if you start a blog and just can't stick with it. in fact, there's probably more likely something wrong with all of us that love it and think about blogging all day long ;) bottom line, blogging should be a fun and enjoyable creative outlet, not something that adds stress or negativity to your life.

so, there you have it. just a few things to start thinking about if you're looking to start a blog! (if you're a blogger and have some additional tips, feel free to leave a comment below!)


top: c/o a-thread / skirt & belt: target

have you guys heard of a-thread? they're a women's apparel and accessories company based out of LA. not only do they offer great products, but they also operate on a "shop & effect" model, meaning that with every purchase, a-thread donates 5% to a non-profit organization of your choice. so, you get to buy something that you love and feel good about it. win, win.

the top that i'm wearing is super comfortable and soft. it's one of those tops that can be worn with virtually anything. jeans and a cardigan, shorts, or a maxi skirt. i don't know about you, but i love those kinds of pieces.

here's some other things i'm swooning over: this scarf, this button-upthis dressthis necklace, and this pouch.

much love, illy giveaway

today's giveaway comes from ilene of much love, illy. she's the girl behind this adorable blog and this shop full of beautiful goods. one lucky winner is going to win a $25 shop credit so that you can get one of those headbands. they're super comfortable and are the perfect addition to simple curled hair or a ponytail.

use the giveaway tool below to enter!

**use coupon code LAURENROX20 for 20% off your entire shop order**

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high five for friday

1. fall weather has officially arrived in north carolina and i don't think i could be happier about it. 
2. panera + new girl = happiness
3. i started a new study this week and have heard so many good things about it. i can't wait to get deeper into it.
4. i applied for GRADUATION. still processing that little fact.
5. my sister and i had a google+ hangout the other day...i don't know if she's ever looked better.

how was your week? link up below and tell me about it!

dots on dots

pants: gap / sweater: old navy (currently sold out) / shirt: old navy (similar) / flats: urban outfitters 
i've told you guys before that i love polka dots, right? well, if you didn't know, now you do. i feel like you can never really go wrong with them. and now that fall is here, i can finally wear this sweater and not look like a fool.

speaking of fall, i don't ever want it to leave. there's something about this season that just makes me happy. it probably has something to do with the fact that i get to wear my favorite clothes in my wardrobe (namely: sweaters) and it's not quite time to bundle up and freeze your booty off. although, let's be honest, winters in north carolina aren't nearly as unbearable as they are in chicago. that is one thing i will definitely miss about this place if i move farther north at some point.

which brings me to another point, i need to figure my life out! i applied for graduation the other day (which is still kind of throwing me off because i can't quite picture life after graduation). i've been in school for the last 17 years-ish. whaaaaaat? that's crazy. i'm excited for what the month of may will bring but also starting to get a teensy bit unsettled because i literally have no idea what to expect. oh well, i guess that's part of what keeps life interesting, right?

rainy days

it's been very fall-ish around these parts the last couple of days, like 50 degrees, overcast, and rainy. fall is hands down my favorite season. mostly because it means fall fashion - boots, scarves, sweaters, leggings. if i could wear the following outfit everyday for the next month, i probably would:

rainy day

leggings / tank / sweater / scarf / boots / bag

happy wednesday! 

oh, blogging.

it wasn't until recently that i realized just how good this little blog has been to me. i thought i'd share just a few of the reasons why:

- it made me fall in love with graphic design. before i started blogging, i didn't know the first thing about photoshop, HTML, or fonts. i barely even understood what a "button" was. (by the way, why are they called buttons?) after more than a year of being a blogger, i can officially say that i love all the things that i just listed. i enjoy the creative freedom that is afforded through all three of those things. if my eyes didn't argue otherwise, i could spend all day on my computer creating things, editing photos and finding new fonts.

- it's created so many opportunities for my sister and i to do things together. whether it's been hosting a local blog meet-up, going to conferences, or doing a style challenge, i have had more fun than i ever could have imagined and i'm so glad that we're able to do it together. and it's nice to have at least one person in my crew that knows what i'm talking about whenever i talk about blog stuff.

- i've gotten to meet some pretty rad people and build relationships with them, both in real life and over the internet. which is kind of crazy, but also really unique. (for example, Lindsay and i have officially reached the point in our friendship where we meow at each other...via twitter and email, of course.)

- it's provided me with the opportunity to help other people. i get lots of e-mails with questions about how to get a blog design, how to start accepting sponsors, how to grow your blog, etc. i love being able to offer suggestions and tips, even though i'm definitely no expert.

- it's provided a really great creative outlet for me. because, if i didn't have it, i would be re-arranging my apartment on the regular and probably spending way too much time on pinterest.

- it made me realize that i really enjoy writing, which i never discovered in school. i'm going to guess that it has something to do with the fact that i get to choose what i want to write about and i can write in my own voice (and lowercase letters).

thanks, blog. you're the cats pajamas.

the dark side

guys, i have serious news. actually, not really BUT i'm officially a brunette! eeeeeeep. 

i've been threatening myself that i'm going to try the ombré look on my hair for awhile now and, thanks to my super talented sister, i've done it! well, technically, she did it and i just sat there. it's pretty subtle but definitely more noticeable when my hair is straight. i love it. 

also, if you've ever wondered what my natural hair color looks like, now you know!

jeans: madewell / top: h&m (similar) / flats: urban outfitters   
ring: kate spade (similar) / watch: marc jacobs (similar) / bracelet: bevello (similar or similar)

high five for friday

1. the colors on the trees in michigan made me so ready for fall. i wish north carolina felt the same way.
2. i still haven't gotten used to the fact that i have to wear shorts in october around here.
3. grey + gold nails. typical move.
4. i miss my mom's cooking! (those are scottish scones that she good!)
5. post-midterms celebration with InStyle and my couch. it got pretty crazy.

how was your week? link-up below and tell me about it!

new living space

if you've spent any length of time around here, you know that i have a tendency to change around my living spaces pretty often. call it boredom or creativity, it's going to happen. and it usually happens when i least expect it. like yesterday morning, while i was vacuuming. i looked around the living room and just decided that i really didn't like the way that it looked. it felt very closed and small and i literally couldn't stand for it to be that way another minute. so, with just a little bit of time before i had to drive to campus for class, i quickly moved all of the furniture and fell in love. i even sat on the couch for a minute and just took all of it's glorious newness in. i think my favorite part is that little corner with the red chair and lamp. 

oh, and milo modeled for me in the second photo. thanks, buddy.

i like pretty things

pretty things inspire me. colors, textures, patterns. i also really like flowers, both real and fake. and it just so happens that my coffee table has all of these things. it's pretty inspiring these days. i like it.

what inspires you?

meet my sponsors!

Mary from Two Hoots and a Holler

Ilene from Much Love, Illy
shop / facebook / twitter: @muchloveilly

Flower Child Shoppe
blogfacebook / pinterest

Keyona of Skinny and Delicious
facebook / twitter / pinterest

Heather from Nutri-family Meals
twitter / facebook / pinterest

Meg from Glamorous Hustle
facebook / twitter / instagram / pinterest

Leslie from Blog About Everything
facebook / twitter / instagram: @its_leslie

Chrissy of Origami Owl

Nicholl of The Chiffon Diary
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Niki from Gumdrops & Gloss
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