Giveaway // Style Mined

today's giveaway comes from Style MinedStyle Mined is a new platform featuring curated fashion, beauty and lifestyle finds presented by our Style Correspondent Flynn Adams for EXTRA TV, airing weekly each Wednesday.  Each segment features a selection of items from different vendors and are available for a limited time (until the next sale launches) at deeply discounted prices. Style Mined is offering one of their previous items to one lucky winner: the beautiful Sophia Bag from Cuore & Pelle

seriously, this bag is beautiful! i can't wait to use it in the fall and winter. and there's so much room inside, which is great for me because i carry a lot of useless crap around in my purse. but, hey, sometimes it comes in handy.

use the giveaway tool below to enter! winner will be chosen Friday!
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Sears Style: 4th of July

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #ThisisStyle #cbias

with the 4th of July holiday just around the corner, i thought i'd share a couple of outfit ideas with you for whatever festivities you have planned. earlier this week, i headed over to Sears in search of the perfect denim piece to incorporate into my wardrobe. i wasn't sure what they would have to offer, but was so happy to find this floral denim jacket. i've always been a fan of the floral trend going on but could never find the right thing that fit my personal style...until i laid eyes on this jacket. i knew that it would be a versatile piece and i like that it has the festive colors of the holiday, but in more muted tones. i'm not really one to wear red or bright blue, so the lighter shades of those colors are just what i was looking for. the jacket styles well with a lot of different things. here's two ideas:

i'm not sure what my plans are yet for the 4th, but i'm sure i'll be watching fireworks somewhere with my roommate. this jacket will come in handy if it gets a little chilly at night. given the weird weather we've been having in raleigh, i'll be glad to have something to layer up with.  i really didn't know what to expect walking into Sears, but was pleasantly surprised with the affordable fashion products they have. and i used my Shop Your Way Rewards card and earned some points. i just love a good rewards program, especially if i'm being rewarded for shopping. it doesn't get much better than that. if you're in the market, head to your local Sears and show off your Sears Style! you can also follow @searsStyle on twitter!

for my full shopping experience, check out my Google+ album. for more Summer style ideas, check out the Live SoFab Summer Digital Magazine!

High Five for Friday

1. there's nothing that compares to the absolute joy that cats experience when i put freshly-washed sheets on my bed. they just can't get enough of them.
2. i had my first phone interview earlier this week! it'll be a little while before i hear anything, but i'm glad to get one under my belt. also, can we just agree that interviews are kind of the worst? or is that just me?
3. so happy i got to spend most of my sister's birthday with her!
4. such a fun night bowling with these ladies! i came in second place overall, which is pretty impressive considering i had an awful start. well, not as bad as Carrie's ;) oh, and my friend Dorothy (on the right) has a blog, too!
5. i went over to Sears yesterday on another #shop for Social Fabric. i'm excited to share what i found this weekend!

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

new to H54F and want to know more about it? just go HERE.

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one top, three ways

top: c/o Pickwick & Weller // pants: H&M (similar) // shoes: Target // necklace: Madewell

 shorts: J Crew Factory // shoes: DSW // necklace: Kate Spade Outlet

skirt: J Crew Factory // shoes: Macy's // necklace: J Crew Factory

you guys know i love a good versatile tee. although i would love to have an endless cash flow to spend on my wardrobe, that just isn't the case. so, i like to look for pieces that i can wear for a variety of occasions and with a lot of different things. Pickwick & Weller tees happen to do that just perfectly. i'm wearing The Nico and it's a perfect top to transition from day to night, casual to dressy. with silk details on the sides, it adds a little extra style that you don't see on a plain grey tee. plus, it's really soft and comfortable, which is always good. they also sent me The Ashley Long Fit to try and it quickly became my new favorite tank. it's long and soft as all get out, perfect for layering or throwing on while i'm working at home. next on my list to get are The Wren and The Hanna Long Fit.

Pickwick & Weller is offering 25% off to Lauren Elizabeth readers! you just have to answer a quick survey and then you'll get to enjoy the discount on their fabulous tees.

To My Favorite Sister

happy birthday, kenny pork & beans! i feel so blessed to have you as my sister and as my friend. no one in the world can make me laugh like you do. and no one in the world can make me bring out my wild like you can. you're beautiful, sensitive, thoughtful, hilarious, wise, and full of grace. you were such a great example for me growing up, and still are today. thank you for your friendship and sistership (yep, just made that a word.). you really are the best.

oh, and have that darn baby already! i'm so excited to see you as a mom. if your parenting of your cats is any indication, you'll be the best in the business.


every girl needs the perfect Little Grey Dress in her closet.

i found this one at Old Navy the other day and knew it would be coming home with me. it's really soft and comfy and is one of those dresses that can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. yesterday, it served it's purpose while i ran errands. now, if only they had it in black, mint, and lavender. i would have that whole collection, no doubt.

dress: Old Navy
belt: Old Navy
sandals: Target

Covet List

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
these are just a few things i'm coveting these days. clearly, i have a thing for gold. but that shouldn't be news to any of you.

i am convinced that i will one day own some sort of animal head in some sort of gold or white. and i will hang it over my bed or in my office. and i will give it a name. like Jerry or Steve.

what are you coveting these days?

Why I Need a Cheap Wireless Plan

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All opinions are 100% my own. 

as i'm preparing to move in just a little over a month, (hopefully) start a full-time job, and incur quite a few personal expenses, i'm attempting to save as much money in as many places as possible. really though, i always like to save money. i mean, who doesn't? i prefer to check my bank account online and see a higher number than i expected, instead of the other way around. with this big move and endless expenses on the horizon, i'm trying to come up with ways to cut some of my spending now and use that saved money for other food and life. i've already got a list going of fun ways to use my long-term savings. one of the first places i can cut spending is on my phone bill - i need a cheap wireless plan! as a proud owner of an iPhone, i have the joy of having to pay for its service, which ain't cheap. enter: Walmart Family Mobile Plan and the Samsung Galaxy S4. they offer unlimited plans, at a fraction of the cost of regular plans. i chose the lowest price rate plan available to me.
i received the Samsung Galaxy S4 for this shop and was actually pretty excited to check it out. i've seen a lot of commercials lately about the cool features, so i was anxious to see what they were like in real life. well, they're awesome. i'm really impressed with the capabilities and functions of the phone. and, i'll be honest, it almost makes me want to turn my back on my iPhone. almost.

as part of this shop, i was asked to go to my local Walmart and pick up my Family Mobile Plan Starter Kit. to see my full experience shopping at Walmart, check out my Google+ album. there's some real gems in there.

shopping for the Starter Kit couldn't have been easier. although there were a lot of other options, i was able to find what i was looking for without too much trouble. i was really impressed with Walmart's Mobile section. i'd never actually made it to that part of the store before (i'm usually just running in to buy shipping envelopes and bubble wrap for my business), so when i saw all of the options, how well organized it was, and everything that they had to offer, i was pleasantly surprised. all i had to do was pick up the Starter Kit and check out at the register - nothing else required. it really couldn't have been easier, which i love. as soon as i got home, i tore open the Kit to activate my phone. it was a very quick and painless process to set up my Mobile Plan through Walmart's activation website. account management is made really simple through their online account management page, so i can easily keep track of my bill and account information right there.

what i'm hoping to use my savings on:
- to add to my "vacation" fund that i'll be using to make trips back here to North Carolina once i move, including a friend's wedding that i'm attending in October!
- go back to Walmart and buy one of those Essie nail polishes that i talked about in my Google+ album
- to take Mike on a fun date once we're finally living in the same state as each other!

i'm really looking forward to seeing just how much money i can save by using Walmart's simple and easy Mobile Plan service. i mean, that's why you save money, right? to spend it! #FamilyMobileSaves #shop #cbias

Giveaway // Touch of Serendipity

today's giveaway comes from Ragan of Touch of Serendipity. she has a great blog full of real-life stories and she's one of those people that can write like she's talking directly to you. also, i happen to really love her clean and simple blog design. she's giving one lucky reader a monogrammed clutch. i'll be honest, i'm kinda jealous that i can't enter this one.

use the giveaway tool below to enter! and be sure to head over to Ragan's blog and follow along!
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High Five for Friday

1. i bought these beautiful flash pink roses at Trader Joe's earlier this week. i just couldn't resist how pretty they were.
2. i've decided that the only right way to eat ice cream is in a waffle cone. even if it has to happen at home.
3. i'm liking mint and black these days, so it was only right that one of my outfits fits into that.
4. decided to do something a little different with my nails and go gold! i kinda love it.
5. finding really good produce is always a tiny victory for me. it's just so good.

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

new to H54F and want to know what it's all about? just go HERE.
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Vacation Eating

can we talk about vacation eating for a second? i'm talking about the phenomenon that occurs where your brain suddenly loses any sort of good judgment when it comes to the types of foods that you eat when you're not at home. oh, you don't have that? weird. you do? good. i'm not alone. i knew there had to be other people like me that lack total self-control on vacation. glad to meet you.

i've been home for a couple days and am finally getting back into my normal eating habits, which feels good. but i still find myself craving dessert just about every night. (this could have something to do with the fact that i have my monthly visitor, too. TMI? sorry. it's the chocolate talking.) i also haven't quite gotten back into my normal workout routine yet because of said visitor, but am really looking forward to working out regularly again and not feeling so...gross. i just feel like i need to detox my body from the deep-dish pizza, chicago style hot dogs, hot french fries, rich steak, and endless dessert that i consumed while home. man, that all sounds really good right now. salad thoughts, salad thoughts, salad thoughts. 

one thing i'm beginning to realize about moving to Chicago is that i'm going to have quite possibly some of the world's greatest foods at my fingertips. and now i'm going to look for a gym to join once i move. that is my only hope if i don't want to gain the new-move 15 (like the freshman 15...but different. because there's really not a good reason for it, but there's a good chance that it will happen).

top: c/o Francesca's
skirt: c/o The Chic Orchid
wedges: Target
necklace: c/o Maya Brenner

Staple Queen

i'm kind of the queen of wearing outfits made up solely of staples. sometimes, i'll throw something a little unexpected in there, like the necklace in today's look. mostly, this happens because my closet is about 90% staples. so, it's just natural. also, it's a lot easier to just throw on a simple pair of shorts and a blouse without having to think to hard about what items to pair together.

i like having a mostly "blank" palette (blouse and shorts) and adding fun shoes or a colorful bag. it creates an interesting element and allows me to express my personal style. a few of my virtual styling clients have told me about their fear of stepping out of their comfort zone with patterns, colors, or textures that they don't usually wear, which i totally get. the best and easiest way to do it is by starting with your shoes or handbag, or even jewelry. make sure that you're comfortable in the clothes that you're wearing, and you won't feel so uncomfortable if just one of your accessories is a little "out there".

by the way, did you think this was going to be about my affinity for a common office staples? pun very much intended. 

top: Francesca's
necklace: Elisabeth Ashlie
shopable items:

How I Spent My Weekend

i'm almost back into normal life after traveling and being gone for five days. i had an early morning of travel yesterday, got home and unpacked (obviously the first thing i do - i hate having my things in a suitcase after a trip), and decided it would be a good idea to take a nap. man, i slept so good. probably better than i slept any night while i was gone. there's something about nap sleep that's so much better than night sleep. anyone with me on that?

my parent's house
i was happy to get back to the cats and back to real life, but sad to leave my dude and time with the family. i feel like the long weekend was packed with a lot of activities, so i never really got to relax all that much. as i mentioned yesterday, i did some apartment hunting with my future roommate on thursday in the city. it was fun to walk around and imagine what my life will be like there. i think i'll really enjoy it and it will be a great adventure. i'm fully anticipating learning a lot and probably struggling the first few months (the cost of living is just a bit higher than what i'm used to in raleigh). but, i think there's a lot of value in that. i'm excited to "grow up" and take a huge leap into adulthood...and run the risk of falling flat on my face. that's okay with me. people do it all the time, right?

mike stood up in a friend's wedding this weekend, so i accompanied him to the rehearsal dinner on friday night at Giordano's for some serious Chicago-style pizza. my mouth is watering as i write this. the wedding was Saturday afternoon at a pretty church in the suburbs. if you remember me asking for your help last week about what dress to wear, you'll see that i chose the lighter blue one.

it felt more appropriate for the venue and was a bit more summery than the navy one. the reception was at a beautiful country club just a few blocks over from the church. because mike was in the wedding party, he had to abandon me to take some more photos, so i was left for dead for the cocktail hour...where i didn't know a soul. not a single soul. thankfully, my roommate answered my phone call, so we chatted for a bit until mike came back for me. and that's when i met a good portion of his college friends. i had been looking forward to that for awhile, mostly because i'd heard so much about them and they were part of so many of mike's stories that he's told me. i was seated at the back corner (yeah, we were basically annexed out of the reception. i don't blame them though. we were a little rowdy. but we had fun, so that's what matters!) table with all of them and had a lot of fun getting to know them. it was actually pretty funny how many of their jokes and mannerisms mike has picked up (or contributed) from them - i feel like i understand him a lot better now. oh, and i was called into one of those darn circles on the dance floor. you know, the one where everyone avoids eye contact with the one in the middle, hoping that they're not the next victim to have to come up with some weird dance move to do until the crowd is satisfied an nominates a new victim. yeah, my name was chanted to go in the middle. mike was taking a break at the table, so i dragged one of his friend's with me and we danced for about 4 seconds until a new song came on the circle disappeared. phew.

Sunday night, my parents, brother, mike and I went out to dinner to celebrate Father's Day and a belated birthday for my mom. we had delicious steaks and a complimentary molten lava cake. as if molten lava cake couldn't get any better...make it complimentary. needless to say, we were all pretty much rolling out of the restaurant we were so full.

and those are the highlights. so, it was a pretty good weekend. the worst part? the next 5 1/2 weeks until i see mike again, in the flesh. it's going to be pretty brutal.

hope you had a good weekend!

pep talk

some things take time, like finding the right apartment or landing a full-time job.

i'm traveling back to north carolina this morning after a good weekend at home. as you may now, i did a bit of apartment hunting with my future roommate and did some serious job hunting online. although i'm trying to remain positive and trust in God's timing, i'm experiencing a lot of stress about both of them. i need to just keep reminding myself that everything will work out. one day, hopefully soon, i'll look back on this time of stress, anxiety and (a healthy amount of) excitement and know that everything worked out just as it was supposed to.

sorry for the brevity, back to normal blogging tomorrow :)

Giveaway // Pursuit of Pink

today's giveaway comes from the beautiful Lindsay of Pursuit of Pink. Lindsay has a great blog full of all different fun things - DIY projects, personal style posts, and insights into her life. and she happens to be a pretty adorable and pregnant. she's giving one lucky reader a $25 gift card to LOFT.

use the giveaway tool below to enter!

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high five for friday

1. it's beautiful-flowers-available-at-Trader-Joe's season. so, i'll be buying some for myself rather frequently, i feel.
2. cats crack me up. they're weird and do weird things. and yet, i can't get enough of them.
3. i rediscovered my love for white pizza last weekend during a girl's night with my roommate. my goodness, that pizza was delicious.
4. i get to spend a few days at home in the Chicago suburbs this week and it's been great so far!
5. had the chance to do some apartment shopping yesterday in the my future home! getting so excited to move!

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

new to H54F and want to know what it's all about? click HERE.

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Lauren's Style: Workspace

if there's one thing that i really love doing, it's infusing my personal style into every aspect of my life. personal style isn't just about the clothes that you wear or the way that you style your hair, it's about creating a styled environment that you love and that is "you". i find that i'm most comfortable and satisfied with my living area when it reflects who i am and the things that i love.

being that i work from home, it's essential to me to have a pretty, well-styled workspace. i want it to reflect who i am and what inspires me. for me, that usually means a clutter-free area with beautiful colors. i like to keep my desk mostly clear so that i can use it to make jewelry without having to clear off a bunch of junk first.

that russell+hazel planner that i have is one of my favorite things. it's a mini three ring binder with dividers. i use it for keeping track of everything blog related. i have a section for blog post ideas, "to do" lists, virtual styling clients, and special pages to keep track of all of my usernames and passwords. it's kept me so organized and i love that i can easily take it on-the-go with me because it's so small. annnd it's gold, so i love it even more.

"Hey You"notes, candle: Marshall's
vase: Ikea
books: eBay
elephant: Jonathan Adler for Barnes & Noble
business card holder: The Container Store
ceramic holder: Anthropologie
planner/organizer: Russell + Hazel

I'm Moving To...

i figured i'd let you guys in on my little secret that i'm moving to Chicago in august!

as you may know, i grew up in the suburbs of the city and lived in the area until i moved to North Carolina when i was 21.

i've always loved big cities and the energy that they have. i love little coffee shops, the variety of restaurants, the proximity of just about anything you could possibly need, and the presence of so many different people and cultures in a small area. since i was in high school, i've wondered what it would be like to actually live in Chicago, not just visit for a day. when considering where i wanted to go to college, i looked into a couple schools in the city, eventually choosing other places. but, my curiosity about city life hasn't changed the past few years, so i'm finally going to find out what it's like.

i've loved living in North Carolina the past 2 and a half years. the weather, the people, the culture. everything. it's beautiful and peaceful and one of my favorite places in the world. i wouldn't mind settling down in this state and having a family here one day, but i'm not in that stage of life yet. and it will always be here, right?

so, i'm putting my big girl pants on and moving to the city! i'll be living with one of my friends from my undergrad days back in Illinois. it will be a fun change and an exciting adventure. oh, and it will be pretty darn nice to not be a thousand miles away from my boyfriend anymore.

although the thought of not living down the street from my sister is heartbreaking, i'm really excited about this next stage of life. let's just say, FaceTime will be used quite a bit, especially when the tiny one that's going to make me an aunt for the first time finally arrives in December! and hey, i could hate Chicago and move back to Raleigh next year. nothing has to be permanent yet.

so, there you have it. my big news. if any of you (current or past) Chicagoans have any input on neighborhoods, i'd love to hear it!

oh, and if you happen to know of any job openings in marketing, digital marketing, social media, digital media, or just about anything that will pay me to work, let me know ;)
....aaaaaaand, i've reached a new low. Indeed and CareerBuilder would be so ashamed.