Well, Hey!

well, hello!  it's been a little quiet the last few days around here, which means that it has been a little bit crazy in my non-internet life! 

as i mentioned a few days ago, i was a featured jeweler in an Etsy Showcase on Wednesday night. i was a little unsure of what to expect, but had a great time! it was definitely a successful night and was really fun to get back into the world of doing shows with my jewels. i think i got the bug, so i'm looking into some more upcoming shows to participate in.

today marks exactly 4 weeks from moving day, which is insane on too many levels for me to even comprehend. i cannot believe that we've already been living in this place for a year. i cannot believe that we have to pack everything back up. and i cannot believe that it's happening in just 4 short weeks. also, i started packing last night because i want plenty of time to purge things that i just don't want/need/like anymore and my "donate" pile is already large, so...there's that. on the flip side, i cannot wait to get into the new place and get settled. there's something so fun about this whole that i'll miss when i stay somewhere for longer than a year! 

my sister and i just decided yesterday to attend Create + Cultivate conference in Chicago in just two weeks. i'm so excited to spend the weekend with her and attend this event. i have a feeling i'll be leaving really inspired and full of knowledge! 

oh, and for those that have asked about this dress: 
you can find it right here. there's only a few sizes left, so some similar options are this, this, and this.

and that's all she wrote, folks! hope you have a great weekend! 

Black + Lace

i've been busy prepping for an Etsy Showcase that i'm participating in tomorrow night at a local bar/restaurant and am so excited for it! when my sister and i started our business 5 years ago, i never thought that i would still be doing it today, or that i would be my full-time job! it's crazy! we used to do craft shows and things together, which we loved, so this will be my first time having a table at a show by myself. i'm mostly excited, but also a bit nervous about it. because i haven't done this event before, i have no expectations and no way to even predict what it will be like. i'm hoping people come ready to shop, but you never know if they will like what you have, so there's risk there. i'm also really hoping that i don't have any technology failures while i'm trying to ring people up, because you know it will all work perfectly right up until the second that you actually need it to work.

Mike has graciously offered to join me in helping man the table, which i'm so thankful for! it will be less intimidating, too. like when you have to give a presentation in school or at work, it's way easier to stand up there with someone else than it is by yourself. but i'm really excited to meet some new people and show my work to a whole new crowd of people! it's like introducing my baby to a group of strangers. except my baby is something that they can buy from me, so that's maybe a little weird. whatever. 

most importantly, i still don't know what i'm going to wear! maybe a simple black dress so that my jewels will stand out? or maybe i'll wear something like this:

top | Nordstrom Rack (similar)
wedges | Jessica Simpson 
bag | Dooney & Bourke (similar)
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)

Saturday Style | 24

it was a big weekend around these parts! well, really just a big friday, full of exciting news! 

my roommate and i did a little apartment shopping earlier in the week and absolutely fell in love with one of the places. it has some of the great character that our current place has, like a brick fireplace, beams on the ceiling, and a french door, plus some of the extra things we were looking for, like a place for me to set up a workspace that isn't in my bedroom, a deck, and in-unit laundry. yes. IN-UNIT LAUNDRY. we were pretty sold on the place when we first walked through before finding out that little detail, but were ready to sign on the dotted line once those precious words were uttered. that is a true gem to find in the city, so we're thrilled! applications were in, fees were paid, and we were anxiously awaiting to hear whether or not we had been approved...

meanwhile, Mike had his first interview in the city for his first big-boy job on friday afternoon. he got the interview maybe 2 days after starting to apply and just one day before he was scheduled to meet with the place, which is quick! he wasn't sure if he would like the place and we were both sort of looking at this as a "practice interview". you know, he could get a feel for the types of questions they would ask, get his feet wet in the interview world, no real pressure since it happened so quickly. since he was going to be in the city, we planned to meet up afterward for lunch, so i hopped on the bus shortly after it started so that i would be in the area when he finished up. we planned to meet in a park that was about halfway between where we were coming from and where we were going, so when i got there and didn't see him, i started to worry (#whatwillibelikewithkids). i continued to the restaurant and began calling him like a crazed person. on the third attempt, he finally picked up and said he was on his way. whew! he's still alive. he got to the restaurant, we put our name in, found a seat, and then i was able to ask about the interview. after a bit of a pause, he turns to me, totally casual, and says, 

"well, guess who got a job?"
"wait, what?! you got a job?!!"

i was shocked! not because he was offered a position, but that it all happened so quickly! we've both been looking forward to this (admittedly, him more) for so long because that means that he can move into the city and we can finally live in the same zip code for the first time in 3 years. he gave me all the details, told me about the interview, and we talked through the whole offer. i am so stinkin' proud of him for the work that he's put in over the last few years to get to this point and cannot wait for him (and us) to start this next chapter! 

shortly after i returned home from lunch, i received that blessed email that said we had been approved for the apartment! so it's been kind of a whirlwind weekend filling out paperwork, making moving plans, and scouring Pinterest for all of my home decor inspiration, obviously. i can't wait to have a new place to decorate! 

striped tank | Target
kimono | Nordstrom Rack
shorts | Gap
sandals | Franco Sarto
bangles | Kendra Scott c/o
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie

Summer Favorites

already halfway through the summer...how is that possible?!?! it's madness, i tell you. as with every season, i tend to have my 5-10 favorite things that i use the life out of. and so, i'm sharing them with you today because, well, maybe you'll love them, too? or you're just trying to distract yourself while sitting at your desk at work...either way, i'll take it. 

back to wearing the life out of things...like, for example, if you follow me on instagram, you know that i've worn a version of this dress many times. when i'm not wearing a dress, i'm either dressed down in distressed denim shorts and  classic v neck tee or the softest linen shorts and my favorite striped tank

since i don't need to carry around a huge bag to hold my gloves, scarf, 724 tissues, and cold medicine, i've opted for a smaller crossbody that was stashed in the back of my closet. which, coincidentally, holds my favorite new tinted lip balm from Fresh. i love using bright and fun nail colors, like this one from OPI, and keeping my accessories a little more simple (with these fun studs). 

warm weather footwear is something that i have a pretty good amount of, but need to stop buying because i tend to stick with one or two sandals each summer. i love these wedges for fancier times (or to dress up my casual outfits!). i've worn these sandals almost every day and they've held up impressively well. i've considered stocking up for future seasons, but have yet to reach that level ;) and i love a good pair of bright and colorful sneakers for walks along the lake, running errands, or to brighten up my around-the-house clothes during the week.

know what else is my favorite this summer? at-home smoothies (i'm on a kick right now!), sleeping with my window open, and purging my stuff. purging maybe isn't just exclusive to summer, but i'm gearing up for a move, so i want to just get rid of EVERYTHING IN SIGHT so that i don't have to pack. but, ya know, that's probably not the most strategic option. instead, i'll start tackling the packing this weekend. 

enjoy yours! 

Beauty Review: Tarte Airbrush Foundation

last time i was with my sister, i uttered eight of her favorite words...

"i'm in the market for a new foundation"

with glee and excitement, she immediately had recommendations for me and bolted toward the nearest Sephora. the first one she showed me seemed a little heavy for my skin - i prefer a lighter wear - so we moved onto the next. and that's when i was introduced to the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation by tarte. i was skeptical at first, as i am with all new beauty products, but that skepticism quickly wore off when i felt, saw, and experienced it. it's light, but offers full coverage. it lasts all day long - only requires touch-ups on particularly sweaty days. and it totally makes me feel like i've had my makeup airbrushed on - my skin looks that good. i've caught myself looking long at my face in the mirror - not in a vain way, but in a way of, "my skin and makeup have never looked this good. this must be what it's like to be a celebrity". it's truly taken a few days for me to get used to how it looks, but i couldn't be more impressed with it. 
alright, enough raving already? before using this foundation, i was using MAC Studio Fix Powder and Foundation. which, by the way, i'd been using since 2009. (insert monkey covering his eyes emoji). i loved how light it was, but can see now that it didn't offer as much coverage as i could have been getting.

below you'll see a before and after using the tarte foundation. i applied Covergirl BB Cream all over my face and the tarte foundation only to the right side (left side of my face, right in the photo). on the side without the foundation, you can see blemishes, uneven coloring, and all those freckles, which i love, but don't need to see all of, all the time. on the other side, my coloring is even, blemishes are almost completely covered (even without a concealer yet!), and my freckles are more subtle. 
it's difficult to capture in one photo, but the difference is very clear in person, i promise! 
my sister insisted that i get this brush to go along with the foundation and she was totally right. you apply it with a buffing method, which helps with blending and getting that full coverage. 
and this is after a little bit of bronzer, blush, under eye concealer, and a swipe of mascara. i'm loving how clear, even, and soft my skin looks with it!
top: American Eagle Outlet | necklaces: Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)

honestly, if you're in the market for a new foundation, i recommend giving this baby a try. i can't say enough great things about it! 

this isn't a sponsored post - i just love the foundation that much. pinky swear. 

Saturday Style | 23

you guys, i had one of the best weekends i've had in awhile. i've told you before that i'm a "doer" when it comes to weekends, right? Mike tends to enjoy relaxing on the couch, watching movies, and the like, while i can last for maybe 2 episodes of Homeland before i'm going stir crazy. it's a combination of spending all day, every day during the week in my apartment and wanting to get out and enjoy the benefits of living in such a beautiful city when i actually have time with Mike (which is only on the weekends). we spent a ton of time outside and out of my apartment, so it was a victory for me, for sure! 

between cruising the Chicago River, attempting* a beach day, walking to a local theater for a $5 movie, and running errands on Sunday, we accomplished a lot and it was giving me life, i tell ya. it was also giving me life to be outside of my air conditioning-less apartment because #itishot #andsohumid i haven't even attempted to style my hair in like 5 days. WHATS THE POINT WHEN IT ALL MELTS AS SOON AS I FINISH IT. (humidity and i are currently on bad terms).

so, all in all, this weekend will go down as one of my favorites. it's just really nice to have someone to spend them with, ya know? that's definitely the best part. 

*it rained within 15 minutes of arriving at the beach. and when i say "rained", i mean downpoured in the sort of way that a summer storm hits and quickly rolls on by. it was sorta beautiful, but also...we were pretty soaked. 

tank | H&M
shorts | Old Navy
sandals | DSW c/o
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)
clutch | Loft c/o (similar)
sunglasses | Kate Spade

Tribal Shorts

color! pattern! statement jewels! who am i? 

i like to call this version of myself "Summer Lauren". and i'm kinda liking her these days. with a healthy serving of black, of course. 

after several days with my nephews, it feels good to take more than 2.3 seconds to think about what i'm going to wear for the day. that is, when i'm not just slipping into this dress. (which has happened a lot). i'm loving all the options for cute and comfortable shorts this summer. no matter how stretchy denim shorts are, they're just not comfortable to me. don't get me wrong, i wear them pretty frequently, but i'm wearing a lot of track shorts and soft shorts like these. they're basically socially-acceptable pajamas. and when paired with a fancier top and some jewels? forget it. i'm wearing them everyday. because if i can feel like i'm in pajamas but look like a functioning human, i am in

top | TopShop
shorts | Old Navy
bag | Kate Spade
shoes | Nickels (similar)
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)

The Under Eye Concealer You Have To Try

under eye concealer has become such an essential part of my makeup routine, especially in the summer when i like to go a little lighter with my everyday makeup. if you had asked me about a year ago which makeup item i couldn't live without, i'd say mascara, for sure. nowadays, it's concealer. i love the way that it can instantly brighten up my skin and make me look rested and awake (even when i'm not). 

 a couple weeks ago, i picked up It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and haven't looked back. this stuff is magic in a tube. seriously. it goes on creamy, covers over every little imperfection, and makes me look like i've gotten 12 hours of sleep every night. on days when i don't need to "get ready" for anything, i can just swipe on a little bit of this stuff under my eyes (and on blemishes!) and go. 

here's how i like to use it:
of course, it's easier to see the difference in person for the before and after, but you can clearly see that my under eyes are a bit darker than the rest of my skin here:
i squeeze a very small amount onto my finger tip and slowly work it onto my under eye. since it's so smooth, it doesn't feel like it's pulling that tender skin or getting stuck, so i'm able to just use a little bit and apply it gently.
you can already see how the light bounces off of it and instantly brightens up my whole face.
i like to set the concealer with a thin layer of my powder foundation since it's so creamy and can look a little oily on my already-oily skin.
and that's it! you can see that my eyes look bigger, my face looks brighter, and i look a lot happier from that 12 hours of sleep i just got (from a tube) ;) 
if you're in the market for a new under eye concealer, i highly recommend this one! one of my favorite things about it is that it's easy to touch up during the day, too. on particularly hot and sweaty days, i can use the tip of my finger or my foundation brush to smooth out any of the lines where the concealer has set into my skin and it looks as good as new! 

amen for that, amiright?

Orange Dress

would you believe me if i told you that this is the only piece of orange clothing that i own? when i was blonde (for years), orange was a rather difficult color for me to pull off because i sort of felt like a two-toned highlighter walking around. with my fair skin and bright blonde hair, i didn't need the addition of another color. i often catch myself in the mirror and forget that i don't have that hair anymore, even though it's been a couple years. maybe the lightener seeped into my brain a little bit ;) 

anyway, i took a risk picking up this dress because it was one of those things where i really liked it and wanted to be the kind of person that would wear it, but wasn't sure if that would translate once i was home. also, why does everything look better in the dressing room? i swear, retailers have some special lights and mirrors that make all of their items look good. so, i wasn't sure about the orange but here we are and i love it! so, that's new. but possibly short-lived. only time will tell.

also, orange/coral/orange-red paired with cognac/brown is one of my favorite combinations, i've discovered. see:

dress | Old Navy
shoes | Jessica Simpson (similar)
bag | J.Crew (similar)
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie (here and here)

Blue x White

(me, in the dressing room, when i put this top on and realized that it was literal perfection)

oh, and it's a sale item that's on SALE?!?!?! 
(quickly runs to the cash register)

(and then wants to wear the top every single day because of the above stated reason)

with just a few weekends left in the summer, i'm making it my personal mission to get "dressed up" at least one night a weekend and do something with Mike. we typically go out to dinner or grab drinks or something one night a weekend, but i usually opt for sandals and a t-shirt. but summer is already halfway over (more, if you consider that i'm going to be spending a good chunk of August packing and moving), so i'm now on a mission to make the most of the warm evenings that we do have left and soak it all in. goodness knows, come february, i'll be wishing for these nights back instead of burrowing in my apartment avoiding the freezing cold. 

and really, i want a reason to wear this exact outfit again. 

top | Anthropologie
pants | Target
bag | Dooney & Bourke (very old)
shoes | similar
bracelets | Elisabeth Ashlie

Saturday Style | 22

the holiday weekend may be over, but that is definitely not going to stop me from wearing my "fourth of july" dress. maybe not ever. because it is the most comfortable thing ever. imagine wearing the most comfortable thing ever...that's what it's like. (that was helpful, huh?)

now that you're completely convinced on the dress-comfort front, we can move on. i spent a couple days up north at my family's lake house for the holiday and it was just what i needed. whenever i spend time up there, i come back to real life feeling refreshed, re-energized, and relaxed. i slept in (until the ripe hour of 8 o'clock!), enjoyed the sun, and read an actual book. it was serene, really. the holiday was very laid-back, which i appreciate every once in awhile. it didn't really feel like the 4th of July, since we usually have company or, at the very least, Mike is with me, but it was a nice change from the regular pace. 

the quiet and rural surroundings help me recharge from the constant noise and hustle of the city, and also makes me realize that i would have a real hard time adjusting to life outside of the city. i'm so used to the sounds of life happening around me that it's strange to exist in the absence of it, although incredibly serene. i love that i love where i live, since that would be considered a luxury by some.

dress | Old Navy
sandals | Franco Sarto (similar)
bag | Dooney & Bourke (very old)
earrings | Elisabeth Ashlie

Weekend Getaway

the holiday weekend is so close i can taste it. well, maybe not so much taste as feel. yeah, we'll go with feel. and it makes me feel real good. i'm heading up north to my family's lakehouse for just a couple nights to enjoy a little break from the city and soak in the peacefulness of that place. i look forward to the 4th of july every year because that's at least one weekend in the summer that i know i will get to be there. i'm trading my laptop for a paperback book, my multiple-snooze-hitting mornings for a little sleeping in, and my frightfully pale skin for possible a little sun-kissed glow. we'll see about that last one, though, you never really know what you'll get when you wear SPF 50 ;) 

here's all that i'll need for a little weekend getaway:
tank: H&M | striped shorts: Old Navy | grey sneakers: Nike via Zappo's | athletic shorts: H&M | athletic tank: Athleta | weekender bag: Sole Society | swim top: Target | swim bottom: Target | swim cover-up: Old Navy | embellished sandals: Target | jean shorts: J.Crew Factory | tee: J.Crew Factory | swing dress: Old Navy

hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend! 

Swoon-Worthy Art Prints

one of my favorite ways to decorate my apartment is with the use of pretty art prints. i already have a decent collection of there from here and there, but i'm considering the idea of building a cohesive collection that can work well as a gallery wall. while you can really put anything you want in a gallery wall, i love the look of a monochromatic or very minimally-colored one so as to not distract from everything else in the room. i love how this looks above the bed. since my headboard is pretty short, i'm leaning towards doing something like this on the wall above it (depending on the size of the wall, of course!). my other idea is to do a big one in my workspace, wherever that may be. 

i'm leaning towards black, white and gold with some minimal color (like in the mascara print). i have quite a few knick-knack things that i can hang so that it's not all prints, but i'll probably want to invest in a couple prints that will fall in line with my color scheme and create a cohesive look. these may or may not all make the cut. i have a hard time saying no to things like this ;)
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

i'm really getting excited about some of the ideas that i have for the next place! while nothing is really going to change all that much, i'm looking forward to simplifying and narrowing down the look that i'm going for with the addition of a couple of things and a reorganization - to be updated as the time comes!