High Five for Friday

happy friday, LE readers! we've made it through another week together. is anyone else pretty dumbfounded that today is the last day of January already? it's ridiculous! i've had a good month and hope you have, too!

here's five of my favorite things that happened in the past week:

1. Mike and i (and some friends) headed up to Devil's Head in WI last weekend for a quick ski trip. although it was freezing, we had a good time and conquered the slopes. it was Mike's first time and he was a total champ. i'd say it was a good warm up for the real mountains out West that he'll be skiing on next year! 

2. the boys had their yearly check-up yesterday at the vet and all is well! they're slightly overweight (oops!), but totally healthy. i'm one happy cat mother. 

3. speaking of cats, i picked this little igloo up at TJ Maxx and it has been inhabited by one of two felines every since it was brought into the apartment. Milo especially loves it.

4. i'm heading to NC tomorrow to see my sister and nephew! i'm crossing my fingers that my flight doesn't get cancelled because of the weather. you should cross yours, too ;)

5. i went to the Bulls game with my parents and uncle (who was in town from CA). during one of the time-outs, Benny the Bull (their mascot, clearly) came over and gave my mom and nice big hug, which was totally unsolicited. Benny then proceeded to steal my purse, of which my mom wouldn't let go. it was a pretty funny encounter. oh and he/she commented on this photo that i shared on Instagram! i've officially made it, folks.

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

Everyday Soft Curls Tutorial

**small edit: i'm using a 1 3/4" iron, not a 2" (like i say in the video)

tools used in this tutorial:
>> Conair 1 3/4" Curling Iron
 >> comb
>> small clip

products used in this tutorial:

tee | J.Crew (similar)
necklace | J.Crew Factory (similar)

Cozy Glam

working primarily from home certainly has its advantages. like, say, taking a nap midday (psssht. i never do that. okay, i totally do that sometimes). or finishing work at 3 just because you feel like it. or wearing workout clothes and/or sweatpants 90% of the time.

let's be honest, that last reason is totally the best perk. i've found that i'm most productive when i have two things: ample amount of sleep (or coffee) and an outfit on. there's something about slipping on a pair of jeans or a statement necklace just to sit down at my desk that makes me feel better. i've found a happy medium between sweatpants and looking presentable with this Athleta sweatshirt. it's great for working out and running errands, but can also easily be dressed up with some booties and a statement necklace for a cozy glam outfit around my apartment (and beyond!). 

i mean, it's totally normal to dress up your workout clothes, right?

sweatshirt | c/o Athleta
jeans | Madewell
booties | Kohl's
necklace | J.Crew Factory

Athleta gifted me with some products to share with you as part of their Fit Style Meets Street Style Challenge
All opinions are completely my own.

Beauty Favorites: Lipstick

one of my favorite accessories is a bold lip color. it instantly adds color to my face and a touch of glam to my outfit. on days when i'm not feeling quite as adventurous, i stick with soft pinks or nudes. you'll pretty much never find me without some form of lip balm, lipgloss, or lipstick on, so my collection is fairly vast at this point. i do have my favorites that are on heavy rotation and i seem to really like the shades and formulas that Revlon puts out.

seven: L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Come By My Windows (similar)
eight: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Peach Petal (similar)

top | Akira
watch | Kate Spade
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
nail color | Julep's Sylvia

When the cold strikes...

i'm forced to get real creative with things around here. like, say, using my full length mirrors to shoot my outfits. so, there's that.

i've finally reached the point where i'm ready for winter to be over. like yesterday. Mike informed me a few days ago that he heard this is the coldest winter we've had in some 40 odd years, which i was actually pretty surprised by (note: that could be totally false -- he overheard it in class and then told it to me like a real fact, so nobody could ever know). in my opinion, this winter hasn't been that horrible, not taking into account a few days of Chiberia. i think i really prepared myself for how awful it would be before moving, so i was 'ready' for it. but now i'm sick of it and i'm ready to wear short-sleeves and anything but boots. know what i'm sayin'?

jeans | J.Crew
tee | Target
chambray | J.Crew Factory (similar)
boots | Steve Madden
earrings | Anthropologie (similar)
bracelet | Banana Republic
watch | Kate Spade
rings | Pradman + Delezhen

Giveaway // SeoulLittle

i've always had an affinity for beautiful rings. in fact, i feel quite bare if i'm not wearing some combination of them on my fingers. if i could only wear one accessory each day, it would definitely be rings. in fact, Seoul Little has some pretty and delicate stacking rings that i'm swooning over.

i love the combination of mixed metals and the daintiness of them. aren't they beautiful? Charlotte makes gorgeous jewels, if you ask me. i particularly love these xo earrings and this simple geometric necklace. but honestly, i'd take any of it and wear it daily. she just has that kind of jewelry. 

i discovered her shop about a year ago and have been a frequent lurker of the new products she offers. you should be, too. you can follow on Instagram and like her page on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Seoul Little. 

you can enter to win a set of these gorgeous rings on Instagram today! find me: @the_laurenelizabeth  to find all the details.

High Five for Friday

happy friday! or as i like to call it, fry day. let's be honest, every day is fry day. hope you guys have had a good week -- mine has gone by very quickly, but i'm ready for the weekend!

here's a look back at some of my 5 favorite moments from this week:

1. a monumental thing happened this week: Mike suggested that we get dessert without any coaxing, slyly hinting, or begging from me. for this dessert-loving girl, this is a huge step in the right direction. we were on our way back from the Bulls game (they won!) and he had a craving, so we tried out a 24-hour diner for some late-night sweets. let me tell you, it did not disappoint. the banana split was about the size of my head and so delicious. (not pictured: the chocolate milkshake we also shared).

2. for Christmas, Mike told me that he would take me skiing somewhere locally since my family didn't go out west this winter. we're heading up to Wisconsin this weekend with a couple friends to hit the slopes, er....hills ;)

ALSO, he's never been skiing before, so i get the pleasure (or extreme displeasure) of trying to teach him how!

3. i recently discovered the goodness that is Starbucks Discoveries iced coffee sold in grocery stores. i tried the Caffe Mocha first and it's delish! perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
cup from Paper Source

4. only one more week until i get to see my nephew and sister!

5. Otis. 'nuff said.

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

Q+A, part nine

here are the questions that were answered in this video:
(0:06) what is your favorite coffee shop and go-to drink?
(0:54) fur vests seem to be quite popular these days. how do you feel about them?
(1:52) have you ever struggled with acne? if so, do you have tips for how to cover it?
(3:28) do you crave sweet or salty foods?
(4:50) do you and your boyfriend have a favorite 'date night' location?
(6:23) do you like when people leave you comments? i feel like people get super opinionated on some of those and i wondered if that makes it hard to traffic through those.
(8:13) where did you get Milo & Otis? were they adopted from a shelter or did you get them from a breeder or friend?
(9:35) what's the best way to advertise your etsy shop?
(11:07) how did you and Kate run your etsy shop together?
(13:24) what is your fitness routine?
(15:31) i was interested in starting a blog just for my own personal enjoyment, do you have a website or suggestion of where to start?

have more questions? send me an email or leave a comment below!

Today's 'Post'

as you've maybe figured out by now, i don't have a new post for you today...dun dun duuuuun. BUT i do have a pretty killer giveaway going on over on instagram, which you should totally go enter. find me: @the_laurenelizabeth.

here's what is happening over der:

and the winner gets to pick one of these, which is pretty cool. also, these rings are great for stacking...so keep that in mind.

okay, thanks for chatting. see ya tomorrow!

Bath Essentials

little, in life, is more enjoyable to me than taking a hot bath at the end of the day. or during the day, which i've been known to do many a time. taking baths has always been a favorite of mine. my mom hasn't missed a night (well, maybe one or two) in about 30 years, so i guess i was sort of born into it.

although i'm just as happy with a classic, hot-water-with-no-extras bath, i'm building up a nice little collection of essentials for my relaxation time.

in no particular order, here are mine:
- a delicious smelling candle. one with the word bath on it is just bonus points.
- a box of matches. a cute box for bonus points (i just decided that this is a game, so...buckle up.)
- bubble bath. one that smells amazing and reminds you of a delicious dessert for...well, you know.
- bath bomb. (that could be misconstrued as something kind of gross. oh you weren't thinking that? awkward.)
- lotion or moisturizer for post-bath. also, i put this on my hands every night before i go to bed and my skin has never been softer.
- lip balm. mostly because i can never go anywhere without lip balm within arms reach. also, it smells and tastes like grapefruit. yum!

**not pictured: a good book, glass of wine, and sweat droplets that inevitably show up within the first five minutes because i run the water way too hot.

candle: TJ Maxx
matches: Paper Source (similar)
bubble bath: Philosophy (similar)
lip balm: Body Drench
bath bomb: Lush
body butter: Ulta

Julep Love

i've always been a nail polish girl. you will rarely find me without some sort of color on my fingers and toes. due to this healthy obsession, i'm always looking to try new brands of nail color, especially those that are long-lasting and offer great color variety. i'd heard of Julep a few times before finally spotting it on one of my trips to Sephora. i picked up Florence (which is also the name of my dad's mom who passed away a few years ago, so i couldn't pass it up!) and the Freedom Polymer Top Coat and was immediately in love. it lasted about 5 days without a single chip, which is really rare for me. as with anything else that i fall in love with, i bought a couple more colors immediately. my sister gave me Coco for Christmas and a couple weeks later i signed up to be a Julep Maven, which you can do here!

as a Maven, you receive a box each month with $40 worth of product (for just $19.99!) based on your style profile. i originally tested as an "It Girl" but wanted my boxes to be "Classic with a Twist", so i chose that one. you can read about the other perks of being a Maven here.

i wasn't totally sure what to expect to arrive in my first box, but i was pleasantly surprised when i opened it up. it came with two great colors, Myrtle and Zora, and the Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum that i'm excited to try.

Myrtle / Sylvia / Zora / Martha / Florence / Coco / Susie / Top Coat

the polish is high-quality and the top coat makes it last for a long time. plus, your nails are smudge-free within 5 minutes of applying the top coat, so you don't have to sit around and wait for them to dry.

it's pretty safe to say that my Julep collection will grow at an exponentially high rate. do yourself a favor and purchase a color or sign up to be a Maven!

**i was, in no way, compensated for this post. in fact, Julep doesn't even know i'm writing it ;) i just really love their product and wanted to share it with you! 

Giveaway // House of Garland

today's giveaway comes from Janet from House of Garland. her shop is stocked full of beautiful headbands that you can't help but fawn over.

i haven't always been a headband wearer, but i'm glad that i've come over from the dark side. they're perfect for days when my hair isn't styling how i'd like it to or if i'm not particularly in the mood to accessorize. also, for times when it turns out to be 4 in the afternoon and i have yet to shower and it just seems to late, so i throw my hair in a bun and add a headband to look a little less...grimy. know what i'm talking about?

Janet is graciously giving one lucky winner the opportunity to receive this same headband. it's a beauty! use the giveaway tool below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

High Five for Friday

happy friday, peeps! i'm quite happy to see this friday. this week has been dragging on and on and on and on and...you probably get the picture by now.

i'm going to be totally honest with you. i've spent more hours than i want to admit working on my computer today (yesterday) and have expended just about all the creativity that was inside of me working on some inspiration for a design client for work, so i'm just about depleted. which means that you guys are going to get the lazy girl's version of H54F today. meaning that you just get five pictures of Milo & Otis and we're going to pretend like they're my five favorite things from this past week. i mean, they kind of are.

tiny humans, i tell you. they really have been extra snuggly lately, possibly due to the cold weather or just to the fact that they really like me. i'll take all the snuggles i can get!

in separate and especially exciting news, i booked my next trip to Raleigh to see my sister and nephew in two weeks! i'm so excited!

hope you guys have had a great week and have a wonderful weekend. be sure to check back here for something cool tomorrow (hint hint a giveaway hint hint). be sure to link up below!

Apartment Style: Drink Station

i've always been a fan of bar carts. wait, i can't really say always, can i? seeing as they've only been cool for a couple years now...so, i've been a fan of bar carts for a couple years now. i enjoy the occasional glass of wine or fruity cocktail, but i'm more interested in having a cool looking drink station than the actual alcohol it will hold. i have a feeling some of you feel exactly the opposite ;)

my roommate's and my apartment is still a work in progress, meaning we still don't have a kitchen table and we've lived here for almost 5 months...but we do have some areas completely decorated so i'm able to share them with you!

this wall just might be my favorite in the place. it's fun and organized and pretty (minus the cord from the pendant lamp). and it's exactly what i pictured it would look like back when i would just stare at the floor plan for this place and brainstorm how i was going to decorate.

it's pretty simple and was so easy to throw together. honestly, the only thing that we added were the prints that my roommate purchased. everything else was already owned or given to me as a gift (i.e. the candle holder). oh, and that little candle on the tray is scented like "sparkling champagne" -- could there be a more perfect candle?!

here's a list of where most things are from:
shelving unit: Ikea
wall frames: Hobby Lobby and Michael's
hanging light: World Market (similar)
green tray: Target (similar)
candleholder: Home Goods (similar)
metal picture hangers: Anthropologie
white leaf tray: Target
key bottle opener: Pottery Barn
wire basket: Target
vase with flowers: Marshall's
small candle holder: Ikea
straws: Etsy
prints: my roommate found them on Etsy!

January Beauty Box 5

my first Beauty Box 5 of 2014 arrived a few days ago. if this first box is anything like the rest, i think it's going to be a good year of boxes.

like probably most people, i get incredibly dry skin in the winter. i've been extra aware of it this winter and have been moisturizing like there's no tomorrow, but i still feel the dryness often. lucky for me, this box came at the perfect time for all my dry skin woes.

++ the small Jergens Daily Moisture lotion is perfect to throw in my purse or work tote to carry with me everywhere. because i use public transportation daily, i also wash my hands a lot, which dries them out even more. with this little travel-size lotion, i don't have to worry about harsh soaps or cracked skin!

++ the other little bottle is Spa Sea Lotus Body Wash from H2O+ that smells like heaven. it instantly transports you to white sand beaches just with a whiff. oh. it makes you feel pretty clean, too.

++ i've never really been one to use exfoliating gloves, but i'm thinking these from Swissco will be good for giving myself pedicures in the winter. i've also never really been one to like professional pedicures -- it gives me the willies to have someone messing with my toes, so i do my pedicures myself.

++ speaking of pedicures, Cuticle & Nail Oil from Nubar is something i desperately needed, especially with my dry skin. it's rare for me to not have my nails polished (especially in the winter), so i like to have cuticle oil to moisturize them between polishes.

++ speaking of smelling like heaven, Epic Blend's Hemp Coconut Lip Balm also does the trick. it goes on smooth and will be perfect for me summer beach days (which feel like they're about 7 lifetimes away...i'm ready for winter to be over and it's just beginning!). also, it's gluten-free which i feel like it pretty cool. (but, no, i'm not gluten-free)

++ bonus product: That Awkward Moment mirror compact -- have you guys seen previews for this movie? i'm pretty convinced i'm going to see only because Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan (clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose) are in it.

so, there you have it! another successful box from Bb5. want to receive your own? you can sign up here!

Q+A, part eight

here are the questions that were answered:
(0:36) how did you and Mike make your long distance relationship work and last?
(9:03) are you still using your baking soda and coconut oil face wash? if not, what made you decide to stop?
(9:48) what type of moisturizer do you use?
(10:46) i'd love to know how your cats weathered the move? how did they handle the change?
(14:30) i seem to remember you once saying something about Mike not being a cat person. has that changed since he's gotten to know the cats better?
(15:40) do you whiten your teeth?
(16:25) what are your thoughts on wearing black and navy together?
(18:05) how serious are you and this boy? do you have lots in common or do opposites attract?
(20:27) you've had your hair so many different styles and colors in the past, what's your favorite?

have more questions? leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Thoughts on the Golden Globes

are you an award show watcher? i typically am. i don't plan my day around them, but i'm usually free on Sunday nights anyway so there's not much of anything hindering my ability to relax on the couch and take in all the gorgeous gowns, funny monologues, and results. if i'm being honest, my favorite part of watching is the pre-show to see the gowns and styles of all the celebrities. the best part of last night's show? Amy and Tina hosting. i just want to be friends with them, know what i mean?

here's a few of my favorite looks from last night:

i didn't see The Wolf of Wall Street, so my first introduction to Margot came through Jimmy Fallon a few nights ago. i was instantly stuck by her natural beauty and am kind of obsessed with her Australian accent. i'm also pretty convinced she would look just as gorgeous in a paper bag.
Margot Robbie

how stinkin' cute is her baby bump?! and that green is killer with her eyes.
Olivia Wilde

more than anything, i really love the shape of this dress and the gold accents. also, her earrings were to die for.
Julianna Margulies 
other things i loved:
- Jennifer Lawrence's acceptance speech...and pretty much everything else that she does
- Amy Adams crying as soon as she got on stage
- Andy Samberg and the fact that he acts like a 22 year old (for the record, he's 35)

things i could have done without:
- Paula Patton's dress (yikes!)
- the most awkward 2 minutes of my life watching Jacqueline Bisset just look around when she's supposed to be giving an acceptance speech
- Diane Keaton wearing a suit. although she is probably the only woman in the world that could look that good in one.
- Kerry Washington not winning.

did you watch? what did you think?

Giveaway // DC in Style

today's giveaway comes from Elena of DC in Style. if you've never visited her blog before, you must. she's an incredibly talented artist and makes the coolest illustrations. seriously, look at this one she did of a style post from my blog:

so stinkin' cool. you can check out her etsy shop to see other illustrations.

think they're as cool as i do? you're in luck! one winner will receive a custom made watercolor fashion illustration (a $75 value!).

use the giveaway tool below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway