Twenty-Eight

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If it wasn't clear by the title and the birthday cake image, it's my 28th birthday today! Mike hasn't said anything about his plans for the day, so I'm totally in the dark (which is how I like it). My only hope is to relax and enjoy my day, which shouldn't be too difficult! And to eat cake. I must eat cake on my birthday. 

Admittedly, it's a little bittersweet to say goodbye to 27 - it was such a big year for me! Being engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, moving to a new place, traveling to Europe. It was a bit of a whirlwind and a little crazy at times, but one of the best years of my life, for sure. I'm hopeful that 28 will bring maybe a little less change, but just as much joy and contentment. I can honestly say that I've never felt more content in my life, which is an incredible blessing from God. With work, with family, with Mike...all of it. My prayer is that the year of 28 will bring more contentment, as well. 

My late twenties have been good to me - for the obvious reasons, like getting married, but also for the less obvious reasons, like self-confidence. I feel like with each year, I grow more and more comfortable with who I am. There are things that I would like to change (as there probably always will be) but, in general, I am more accepting of the things that I don't necessarily like. My early twenties definitely brought some insecurity, which caused me to weigh the opinions of others (including strangers on the internet) more highly than those who know me personally. That's taken such a dramatic turn in my late twenties, which is a great thing. I value the opinions of people who know me, like my husband, my family, and my close friends, so much more highly than my own self-doubt or insecurities. I look forward to continuing this shift this year, as well. 

I haven't really thought through any specific goals that I have for this next year, but I do hope to continue to be proud of the work that I do and to continue to connect with you. You, my blog reader, are a large part of the reason that I love my job and have this contentment that I've been talking about, so thank you! 

In the spirit of celebration and giving, I though it would be fun to give away a little collection of some of my favorite things to one of you! This giveaway is exclusively for my regular blog readers - I'm not sharing it anywhere else because I want it to go to one of you! Simply use the giveaway widget below to enter. Winner will be chosen tomorrow! 

Here's what is up for grabs:
My favorite Elisabeth Ashlie scarf, a festive Kate Spade oven mit, my favorite mug, one of the notepads I use everyday, a set of pencils, an Essie nail polish, my favorite face mask, and a lip treatment. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

512 comments

  1. Happy birthday!! I love the self-acceptance I’ve found as I’ve gotten older. I’m 30 and have embraced who I am more than ever. Hoping you have a fun day!

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  2. Happy birthday! Also, I always read your blog from a reader so I never noticed your header until now - love!

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  3. Happy birthday! I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now. It has been exciting watching you change and grow as a person and become who you are today!

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  4. Happy birthday! I’ve been reading ur blog for 2 years and hope your 28 brings more contentment like you mentioned. Enjoy your day!

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  5. Happy birthday, Lauren! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  6. Happy Birthday, Lauren! Enjoy your day :)

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  7. Happy Birthday!����. Enjoy your day!

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  8. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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  9. Happy birthday!! Hope it’s a great day and wishing you many blessings in the coming year!!

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  10. Happy birthday! I think I've been reading this blog for... seven years? Dang. Has it really been that long?!

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  11. Happy Birthday Lauren! I always enjoy reading your blog

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  12. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I think the self confidence that we find as we age is one of the very best parts of getting older. Hope 28 is a great year for you!

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  13. Happy Birthday! I have no idea how long I've been reading, for a couple of years I would assume. I found your blog through your sister's, and love your products. Enjoy your weather -- it's supposed to get COLD this week in the midwest.

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  14. Happy Birthday! Honestly I can't remember how long I've been reading but I'm pretty sure it's been since the beginning. I read Kate's blog first so I found yours the first time she linked to you. It's been a long time! :-)

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  15. Happy birthday! I’ve been reading your blog for 5ish years now? I can’t really recall but know it’s been a while ��

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  16. Happy birthday! Not sure how many years it's been, just know I started reading before you moved back to Chicago.

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  17. Happy birthday!! I found your blog from your sisters way back in 2011 I think! I feel like you girls are my friends, lol. I hope your day is awesome!

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  18. Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading probably at least 5 years!

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  20. Happy birthday! Im relatively new to your blog - maybe 2 months. although i have been following you on IG longer! Found you through your sister Kate!

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  21. Have a special day!! I have been reading for a few years - and actually saw you in Chicago at a college basketball game with my husband and was "star-struck". Seems silly now, but I could't say hello!!

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  22. Happy birthday! I've been reading your blog for at least the last 5 years. Have a great day!

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  23. What a special year for you and what a special birthday! I have followed you all of 2017 and look forward to being a continued reader as I love your style, writing, and cheery personality. Cheers to you!

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  24. Happy Birthday..Have been reading for at least 4 yrs..Enjoy your special day!

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  25. Happy birthday! I’ve been following for years and can totally see the transformation you are talking about! I’m a bit, ahem, older and went through the same thing myself! Here’s to the next fantastic year!

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  26. Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading for a few years now and agree that my late 20’s were where all the good things happened (and it only gets better!)

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  27. Happy birthday, Lauren! I’ve been following for a long time, since you were from your grey desk. :) Hope year 28 is a wonderful one for you!

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  28. I hope you have a great birthday! I haven't been reading too long, only about a year or so, but I love your blog! Not to be creepy, but I feel like we would get along well in real life :-)

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  30. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I've been reading since the days of "My Gray Desk!" :)

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

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  31. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love reading your blog. You are one of my biggest style inspirations. Thank you for all that you share with us! ��

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  32. Happy Birthday! I found your blog via your sister's about 2 and a half years ago. I turn 28 in 1 month and I was married this past October. We seem to be at very similar points in our lives which is so cool!

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  33. Happy Birthday!!!
    I have been reading your blog for about 5 years.

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  34. Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years. The 20s were a crazy period for me. It took me until 30 to find that content zone which was a-ok. Enjoy!

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  35. Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading for about two years

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  36. Happy birthday! I've been reading for about 3 years

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  37. Happy birthday!!! I've been reading your blog for about 3-4 years now. Found you through your sister's blog and now the two of you are a regular part of my day.😉

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  38. Happy birthday! Wishing you another fabulous trip around the sun.

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  39. I actually discovered your blog right around the same time I started following your sister’s blog, a couple of years ago. I hope this next year is everything you hope it will be. Happy Birthday!!

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  40. Happy birthday! Love your blog and style and hope you have another great year!

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  41. Happy Birthday! I always read your post while enjoying a great cup of coffee.

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  42. Happy birthday! I've been reading your blog for over 3 years now and really enjoy it!

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  43. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I love how you reflect on years past and hope that 28 is your best year yet!

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  44. Happy Beautiful! I am so glad that 27 brought you such immense joy and contentment- you are so deserving!
    Here's to 28 and more love than you can imagine!

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  45. Happy Birthday! Cake is always a must :).

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  46. Happy birthday! I think I've been a reader for about 2-ish years. Enjoy your day!

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  47. Happy Birthday! We’re actually birthday twins! Ive been reading your blog for 5+ years. Have an amazing day!

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  48. Happy Birthday Lauren! It's been great go follow your journey over the last year.

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  49. I've been reading your blog for about 2 years! I really enjoy reading it! Happy Birthday!

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  50. Happy birthday!! I found your sisters blog about 5 years ago and shortly after that started following you ��

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  51. Happy Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful year!

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  52. Happy Birthday Lauren! Enjoy your day, you deserve it :)

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    1. oops, I've been reading for I think 5 years? Back when it was at a "grey desk" haha ;)

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  53. Happy Birthday!!! No idea when I started reading but I think it was when you were still in college. I hope you have an amazing day!!

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  54. HBD Lauren! Love reading your blog everyday and have been since 2013 :).

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  56. Happy birthday, Lauren! I'm turning 28 in January and I feel similarly... 27 was the year I got engaged, we moved to a new home, adopted a pup...so many big things! Here's to 28 surprising us with even more goodies! ;)

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  57. Happy birthday! I originally came about to read your blog through your sister's. Can't remember how long ago it was, but it was before you and Mike started dating.

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  58. Happy Birthday Lauren! Hope you have a wonderful day with cake too!

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  59. Happy 28th Birthday! I hope you enjoy your day! I have been reading your blog and Kate’s for about 4 years now. They are both by far my favorite blogs to read!

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  60. Happy Birthday! Hope it's a great day! I have been reading for about 2 years

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  61. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a blessed year with love, family, friends, much happiness (and many more blog posts!)!!

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  62. HBD! I’ve been reading for approximately six months!

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  63. Have the best birthday and wishing you the best for 28!

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    1. So I commented before entering - anyway for my entry... I found your blog through your sister a couple years back and have been reading ever since. recently been loving the instastories :)

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  64. Happy Birthday to you! I've been reading your blog since about 2012? Does that sound right? I even had a FaceTime Styling appointment with you 1000 years ago. :) My BFF and I talk about you and your sister like we all know each other! LOL In a totally uncreepy way of course. When you read someone's blog for 5+ years, you kind of feel like you know them! Prayers 28 brings you many blessings!

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  65. Happy birthday! I’ve been reading for a few years now (2 or 3, maybe?) hope you have a great day!

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  66. HBD Lauren! Thank you for the blog! I enjoy reading it.

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  67. Happy birthday! I have been following you for about 4 years now. You are such a positive influence and a blessing.

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  68. Happy birthday! Been following along for a year or two after learning about you from your sister ��

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  69. Happy Birthday! When I stop and think about it, I've been reading your blog for years! Since you were sitting at your Gray desk ;)
    Hope you have a wonderful day with Mike!

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  70. Happy Birthday!! I have been reading your blog since 2013 - I started following Kate for hair tutorials and it led me to you! I love your style and am also a big fan of Elisabeth Ashlie!

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  71. Happy birthday Lauren! As a girl who is in her mid twenties, I'm trying to gain more self confidence as I grow too. It's one of the biggest things I focus on for my personal mindset. I've been reading your blog for about three years now I think and I love it!

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  72. Happy Birthday Lauren! I love your wish for this year! Sometimes a little contentment is all we need!

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  73. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I have been reading for about 5 years, since FMGD!

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  74. I’ve been reading for about 2 years!

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  75. I don't know exactly when I started, but I think consistently for a year and a half. I know I knew about your jewelry business way before from following your sister Kate, but didn't know you had your own blog as well! Now your blog is on my favorites tab and gets checked multiple times a week!! I hope you have a great 28th birthday!

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  76. Happy Birthday! Life, like many things, gets better with age!

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  77. I've only been here for about 2 years, but I'm so happy that you've now moved to my local area. I love reading how you're adjusting to the DMV and all your new faves!

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  78. Happy Birthday! Life, like many things, gets better with age!

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  79. Happy Birthday! Love your blog and instagram feed!

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  80. I've been reading for only a few months, but I'm hooked. It's fun to follow along each day!

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  81. Happy Birthday Lauren! I’ve been reading since you were a “grey desk”. What a fun time it’s been! 28 was a good year for me; I pray blessings over your year!

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  83. Happy Birthday Lauren! Hope it’s a wonderful day and a very happy year ahead!

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  84. Happy Birthday Lauren!! I've been reading for about a year, and found your blog after following Kate for a long time. I love Elisabeth Ashlie and have received several items from your shop for gifts- love your content and message!

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  85. Happy birthday! I hope you have a great day and Mike has something fun planned! aclaude@law.stetson.edu

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  86. I'm not exactly sure how long I've been reading, but you lived in Raleigh and it was called From my grey desk I think. It's been cool to watch your journey!

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  87. Happy Birthday!! I hope you get your favorite cake today! 28 is such an amazing age I think. I am 33 right now but I loved my late 20's. I had my daughter at 28 and even though it was one of the hardest years of my life it showed me how strong I could be. I don't exactly remember when I started following you, it's been awhile! I found your sister thru pinterest first but when she mentioned you, I had to check out your website. I wish you much joy, success and wisdom this year and many years to come!!

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  88. Happy birthday! I've been reading your blog for about 3 years and I love it! Enjoy your day!

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  89. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I have been following you for a couple years now. I discovered you after following Kate! I look forward to your posts and check in daily - especially for the wedding-related posts, as I am getting married this fall! Any and all planning tips are welcome ;)

    Have an awesome and relaxing birthday! :)

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  90. I've been reading your blog for about three years now and it's one of the first ones I pull up each morning!

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  91. I've been reading for at least the last 4 years or so-have an awesome birthday!

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  92. Happy Birthday Lauren. I think I've been reading your blog for a good 3 maybe 4 years now! Love it, defiantly one I check daily!

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  93. Happy Birthday! I've been reading for about 2 years :)

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  94. Happy Birthday Lauren! I've been a follower for probably 3 years!

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  95. Happy Birthday! I have been reading for about the last 5 years. I love that scarf and that essie nail polish is a great color. Two of my favorite necklaces are my disk necklace and my bar necklace from EA! I wear them multiple times a week!

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  96. Since I found your sisters hair tutes, so about 4 years now! I love you both and your personal styles, I feel like we could be sisters too! HBD!

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  97. Not sure how long, but I’ve followed you & your sister for a few years..your friendship reminds me of me & my sisters!

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  98. Happy Birthday, Lauren! For some reason I had no idea that we were the same age, but I do agree that late 20's are the best! Just like you, I am learning to be more confident in who I am and not be influenced by others opinions. Enjoy your first married Christmas! I love the first year of marriage because you get to create all new traditions with each other!

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  99. Happy birthday Lauren ! I’ve been reading your blog since I found your sisters blog back in 2012. From My Grey Desk! I love starting off my day reading both your blogs !!! Thank you for sharing you and your life. I’ve loved watching you grow !!! Happy happy birthday. I hope you have a wonderful day !!!

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  100. Happy 28! These are the years of my life where I feel like I floundered, so it's so wonderful to see someone who's flourishing, not floundering! Stay close to God and your husband, because those are what matters.

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  101. Happiest of birthday wishes to you! I hope you continue to grow and feel the love. Gaining self confidence is such an important part of finding joy. Thank you for sharing, and Happy Birthday!

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  102. Happy birthday!! Wow I think I've been following you for about 5 years now?!?! Certainly feel like I know you and your sister!! Enjoy your day!

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  103. Happy birthday! I’ve been following you for years! I’ve always loved your style.
    I ordered some of your EA jewelry for my sister to wear on her wedding day. It was perfect!

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  104. Happy Birthday!! I hope you have the best day! Enjoy your birthday cake!

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  105. Happy Birthday! It’s been fun to celebrate all the fun times by reading along over the past year!

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  106. Happy Birthday! I have been following for about a year now!

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  107. Happy Birthday!! Not sure how long I’ve been reading your blog but at least since it was called “From My Grey Desk”! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

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  108. Happy Birthday!! I've been reading your blog for about 3 years!! I hope you have a fantastic day!!

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  109. Happy Birthday!! I hope it's a great one! I've enjoyed following along for the last couple of years. :)

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  110. Happy Birthday! Mine was on Saturday, and I LOVE having an early December birthday. Everything is festive, but it is far enough away from Christmas. Hope 28 is your best year yet! I found your blog through Kate a few years ago, and I have loved following along!

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  111. Happy Birthday! 28 was a great year for me! I think as your get into your late 20's, early 30's life becomes easier and more enjoyable! Hope you had a great day celebrating! :-)

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  112. Happy birthday! I've been reading your blog for a few years now :)

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  113. I've been reading for 2 years I think? Happy birthday!

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  115. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I have been reading since your blog was “My Grey Desk” :)

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  116. Happy birthday! I’ve been reading for a year or so I think? I love your nod to everything neutral and many of your clothing and beauty finds/suggestions have become a part of my everyday style. Have a great day!!

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  117. Happy Birthday!! I think it has been about five years now that I have been reading your blog! Our years were pretty similar big event wise (married, honeymoon in Europe, moved to a new city), so it’s been especially fun this year reading along!

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  118. Happy Birthday!! I don’t remember how long, only that you had recently moved back to Chicago.

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  119. Happy Birthday!! I have been reading your blog since I was a senior in high school, so since 2012!! I remember stumbling upon a post where you used Mark. beauty products and I've read every post since then (haha do they even make Mark. products anymore??) I feel like I personally know you just from reading your blog, and I think in real life we would be friends!

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  120. Happy Birthday! I'd say for probably 2 years :)

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  121. Happy Birthday!! I love following you and your sister, Kate! I have found so many products to try from you both!

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  123. Happy Birthday! I've been reading your blog for a year or so and it's been great watching all the changes in your life and seeing your business grow. Congratulations!

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  124. Hey Lauren! I've been reading your blog for over a year and a half and follow you on all social media and have bought some items from your shop - As you can see, it's the first thing I do each morning when I get to work - open your blog :) I hope you have a magical birthday and a wonderful Christmas!

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  125. I actually started reading your blog just before Kate got pregnant with David! The first time she mentioned her sister, I immediately came to your blog and have been reading ever since. I look forward to reading/watching your insta stories everyday!

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  126. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I've been reading your blog about a year and love following along!

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  127. I actually don't remember when I started...it has to be at least 3 years now?

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  128. Happy birthday! Hope you have a great day!

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  129. Happy, Happy Birthday!!! I hope your day is great and filled with lots of love and laughter shared with family and friends! I so enjoy reading your blog - Thank you for doing what you do!

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  130. Happy Birthday! Love following your blog!

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  132. Happy birthday, Lauren! I’ve been reading since your From My Grey Desk Days - so a long time! I always value your recommendations on beauty items, and it was so fun to follow your wedding planning. I hope that you have a great day and year ahead!

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  133. I think I've been reading for about three years! Happy birthday!

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  134. Happy Birthday! I've been reading your blog for years, and am really loving all the instastories updates!

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  135. Happy Birthday! I have been reading your blog for 6 months! :)

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  136. Happy birthday! That scarf is beautiful. :)

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  138. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a fun day celebrating.

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  139. Happy Birthday!! I hope the coming year has wonderful things in store for you. I have just been reading your blog for a few months which I found through your sisters blog! LOVE both blogs and Instagram pages!

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  140. Happy Birthday! Your blog is so much fun to read!

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  141. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day :)

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  142. Happy Birthday, Lauren!! Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating.

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  143. Happy Birthday - welcome to 28 it’s great! I’ve been around your blog for probably 2 years maybe even 3 now that I think about it!

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  145. Happy Birthday! I've been reading since 2013 and check in daily. :)

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  146. Happy birthday!! I've been following you and your sister for years now! My favorite blogs to check daily, you girls are the best!! 28 is a good year ;) Wishing you all the best!

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  147. Happy birthday!! I've been reading your blog from the beginning, aka the grey desk days! And your sister's blog, too. I'm also an avid EA shopper! :)

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  148. Happy Birthday! I've been reading your blog a couple of years. Enjoy your cake :)

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  149. Happy birthday! I've been following along for at least 4 years, after I found your blog through your sister!

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  150. Happy Birthday! I've been following for the past couple years. Eat cake and enjoy your day!

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  151. I started reading your blog when it was still My Grey Desk. Happy Birthday!

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  152. Happy Birthday! Thanks for a Fun giveaway!

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  153. Happy Birthday! It's been many years now, still enjoy it :)

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  154. Love your blogs! Hope you have a very Happy Birthday!!

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  155. I’ve been reading your blog since you got engaged. Love your style!

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  156. Happy Birthday!! Cleaning out your closet is not what I would have been doing on my birthday eve... but you inspired me to clean mine out before Christmas!!

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  157. Happy birthday! I have enjoyed reading your blog the past three years.

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  158. Happy birthday, girlfriend! I want to say since 2013?! I started reading Kate's and loved you two (as in both of you, not poor grammar)!

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  159. Happy 28th birthday! I started reading your blog around the time you moved from NC to Chicago - was that 3 or 4 years ago maybe? I enjoy your blog posts so much! Many blessings to you this year!!

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  160. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I've been reading your blog for years now... it was actually the first blog I started reading regularly. And, even though I'm a few years older than you I love your style, attitude toward life, and look forward to reading all your posts. Thanks for creating such a fun space to visit. Enjoy your day!

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  161. Happy happy birthday! I'll be 28 in a few months, and you are such an inspiration as someone who is in a similar phase of life. Keep doing what you're doing - it's amazing!

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  162. Happy Birthday!! Enjoy your day!

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  163. Happy birthday! I hope your day is fabulous! I have been reading your blog for at least 4-5 years...back when you were my grey desk. I found your blog through your sisters, and I have to say I love following you both!

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  164. can't remember how long i've been reading 6+ years maybe?
    hope you have a lovely and relaxing day!!

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  165. Happy Birthday! I have loved following your blog for the past 5 years!

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  166. Happy birthday!! I, too, find myself caring less and less about what other people think of me as I get older. It's SO freeing! Can't wait to see what Mike has up his sleeve for you today!

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  167. Been reading for a few months!

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  168. Happiest of birthdays to you, my dear! I love reading your blog and have been doing so for about four or five years I believe. Your blog and your sister's blog were two of the first ones I ever discovered and I've been a loyal reader ever since. Keep up the good work and enjoy your day!

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  169. Happy Birthday! I have been reading your blog for about 3 years and found it because of your sisters blog.

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  170. Happy Birthday! So sweet to "share" with others on your special day :)

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  171. Happy Birthday! I love reading your blog :) I think Ive been reading it for maybe 4 years or longer!?

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  172. Happy Birthday, Lauren! I've been reading your blog for the past couple of years and it is one of my favorites :)

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  173. Happy Birthday! I have been reading your blog for at least 4 years now.

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  175. Happy Birthday!! Been reading for 3-4 years! I think? Love your posts and especially the wedding ones as I'm in the process of planning my own. Hope you have an amazing year!

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