Building Basics

Hi, friends!

Normally on the Monday after vacation, I’d be trying to keep myself from feeling super bummed out due to the lack of beach life and return to normal life….

BUT

This is no ordinary Monday.

Y’all! It’s Bachelorette Monday! I’m so excited! We will for sure be having a viewing party tonight that will include Mexican food and coconut ice cream. Can’t wait!

For today’s post, I wanted to share this super fun and flattering embroidered top. It’s under $20 and is one of my favorite finds of the summer so far. I paired it with some black skinny jeans that I cuffed at the bottom. Speaking of skinny jeans, did you know that H&M carries a line of skinnies that are $9.99? I have had mine in the dark denim and the black denim for two years now and they’re still holding up great!

Now onto some of the basics I think every girl needs in her closet. These items will help to pull you out of the “I have nothing to wear” rut because they are versatile and practical. So you can dress them up for a date night or dress them down for running errands.
Maybe if you’re like me, you don’t love buying basics because they’re kind of boring. But the problem with only buying loud pattern statement pieces is that once you’ve worn them once, it’s easy to get bored with it. This is what gives you the feeling of looking at a closet full of clothes and still feeling entirely uninspired.
Enter the basics. 
1. Chambray button down
2. White skinny jeans
3. Black loose fitting tank
4. Distressed cut off shorts
5. Leather cross body
6. Brown leather sandals
7. White v neck t shirt
8. Denim jacket
9. A favorite watch
10. Boyfriend crop jeans
If you’ve followed me on insta for a minute or two, you’ve seen these items on repeat. Once you realize how you can layer these items and create totally different looks just by adding the right statement jewelry and accessories, you’ll begin to see the value. 
So step away from the statement pieces just long enough to get some of these foundational pieces in your closet. 
Hope you have a super Monday! Tune in on Wednesday for my Bachelrotte recap and then later in the week for a rundown of our little family vacation.
Laura

5 Rules For Cleaning Out Your Closet

Hi!

Hope you’re weekend was amazing. Ours was literally non-stop. Reese was the cutest ballerina on stage (I’m only a little partial) and she did SO well with remembering her routine. We treated her to lunch at her favorite restaurant afterward and my mom and dad got to come with. It was sweet! Sunday I got sick, boo. So I spent the day on the couch watching the Food Network. Thankfully I’m feeling better today!

How fun is this top?! The fringe. The embroidery. The color. The Fit. The PRICE. Less than $30.

Yes, please.

I tried to find it online but it looks like it might just be in stores. Sad. But still worth it, I think.

Ok, let’s talk about your closet. It’s a little past time to change from Winter to Spring but just in case you’re still in the in between phases, here are a few guidelines for having a successful clean out sesh.

1. The six month rule: If you haven’t worn it in six months or if you can’t remember the last time you wore it, get rid of it. We keep FAR too many items of clothing that we really just don’t like for the rare chance that one day we will see it with new eyes and be like OH! But guess what? That’s not gonna happen. The unwanted clothes are just going to keep taking up space in your closet and giving you anxiety whenever you go to get dressed. SO if you don’t love it, say bye.

2. The 80/20 rule: Your closet should be made up of 80% every day basics and 20% show stoppers. What’s a show stopper? It’s a statement piece. Something that has a loud pattern or can only be worn a small handful of times. Most people reach for show stoppers when they shop because basics seem boring. But having great basics is what makes getting ready every day so easy. So as you’re cleaning out your closet, take inventory of what basics you have and what you need. I’m scheming an upcoming post about what kind of basics you actually need to build a great wardrobe.

3. The distressed rule: Ok. if you have an article of clothing that’s supposed to have holes, frays, rips, etc. then that’s one thing. But if you have something that’s missing buttons or the very basic necessities to make it a presentable piece to be worn in public, then it needs to go.We all have our “lounge wear” but that belongs in the PJ drawer and not in the closet. Your closet should be your portal to fabulous not the stairwell to frumpy. So if it’s falling apart, it’s time.

4. The fit rule: If you don’t like the way something fits on you OR if it just doesn’t fit you, then get rid of it. If you’re in between sizes or trying to lose weight, then having clothes around for when you reach your goal is awesome. But they need to go in a bin in the attic. Having them stare you in the face when it’s go time for day to day readiness is not going to do you any favors. And trying something on that doesn’t fit will only send you into a sad spiral. Again, portal to fabulous, people. Set yourself up for success and keep those items as a future wardrobe. And if a poorly fitting piece somehow finds it’s way onto a hanger, then don’t let it stay.

5. The seasonal rule: I know a lot of people are blessed with large closets. My closet in my 1980’s fixer upper is about the size of a mall bathroom stall. This has actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise (or I’m trying to hard to see it that way) since it forces me to remove ALL non-seasonal items. This gives me a really good idea of what I actually have to wear each day. The problem with keeping clothes from different seasons is that it gives you the illusion of having lots to choose from when in reality, you probably don’t. Give yourself less clutter and you’ll find a more realistic view of your options.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve stood in a heap of frustration in my closet. For so many of us this is not a happy place. Maybe you don’t have the money right now to get the clothes you want so just keeping your current clothes makes you feel better. A few years ago when we were first starting Matt’s State Farm agency, we were super tight financially. I remember cleaning out my closet and taking two huge bags to a consignment store. I’m pretty sure they might as well have just robbed me in the alley behind the store with what they gave me for my clothes, BUT I used what I got and purchased a few things I LOVED and needed. It took me a long time to build up my basics but I’m getting there.

You can do the best with what you’ve got but you can’t work with something you don’t like.

It’s like a band-aid. Just do it fast and get it over with. I promise you’ll like looking at a closet that’s a little more empty way more than looking at a closet full of things you’ll never actually wear.

Hugs to you and happy Monday!

Laura

Friday Favorites

Hi, Friends!

Happy Friday to you!

I’m really working on finding something other than “Happy (insert day of the week)” to greet you with… but I just really want people to have happy days so what’s a girl to do? Trying to be more clever though. Trying so hard.

So excited to share this dress I found this week.

It’s literally the perfect fit. I’m wearing a small for reference. I ordered three days ago and got it today! I’ve linked it here and I am happy to say it’s only $25! HAPPY. DANCE.

Now for these shoes. Swoon. I’m a sucker for anything black and white. And stripes? Don’t even get me started. I found these for $15 at H&M this weekend. I’m in love. They’re only available in stores but I think they’d be worth the drive. 
Just watching to make sure Rowen doesn’t run in the street. #momlife

Now for a few more favorite! I want to share a way we stay organized and CLEAN on the regular in our house.

Stair Baskets: We got these baskets from Wal Mart for $7 a piece and they are just perfect for the depth of the stairs. They also have a little chalk board on the front for each person’s name. During the day, if I find something that belongs to someone and don’t have the time to put it upstairs or where it actually goes, I just stick it in the basket. Then before we go to bed at night, each person cleans up their basket. It’s good practice for the girls to learn that it’s their job to clean up after themselves and I’d much rather see random junk in a cute basket than on my floors.

Exercise Ball: Ok, I’m late to the game. I know. But I just got a balance ball and I love it. I’ve been doing ab exercises with it this week and you can really feel the burn. I found this one at Wal Mart (yes, I am feeling like a red neck for referencing Wal Mart not once, but twice). It comes with examples of how to use it and they’re really all you need. So getcha one.

Decor Steals: Are you signed up for the daily steals from this website?! If not, please go sign up NOW! I got this magnolia wreath for half the cost that I’d seen it elsewhere (Looking at you, Magnolia Home) and the quality is great. I’ve ordered other items from them and their customer service is top notch. They really are on top of the latest trends and the deals are too good to pass up!

Salvaged Chic Market: I posted a few of our new signs from this adorable Etsy store this week. They’re so beautiful! Heather does custom work or you can choose from any of the sweet pre-made items in her shop. She is fun to work with and does a beautiful job. I’m so happy with my signs!

Glasses: Matt and I have been married for almost eight years and about a month ago, we noticed most of our glasses we got as wedding gifts were chipped or just looked terrible. Sad. But then I stumbled upon these beauties and instantly forgot all about the nostalgic newlywed cups. These are super sturdy and have the most beautiful design! We also got matching ice cream bowls because I needed another reason to want ice cream. No. No I didn’t. These are a part of the Pioneer Woman collection from… you guessed it! WAL MART. Oh my gosh who am I? Whatever. The price is right and the quality is great so who cares where it’s from?

I’m getting my hair done this morning. Glory. Then I have a girls night out tonight to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthdays and I can’t wait to share this cute H&M outfit I’ve planned to wear!

Reese has her first ballet recital Saturday morning and we are getting SO excited. Honestly I’ve been so excited about the recital that I haven’t planned a single thing the rest of the weekend. I think basking in the glory of our little tutu-clad ballerina should suffice!

Happy Friday, friends!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Laura

Workout Routine

Hello!

Half way through another week, can you believe it? May seems to be FLYING by. We leave for the beach next week so I’m not mad about this week going by quickly. #takemetothebeach

Today I’m sharing a little bit of my fitness journey. I call it a “journey” because I’m still on it. I don’t have everything figured out at ALL but I will share the things I have figured out so maybe it’ll help you start or keep up the journey you’re on.

Let me start by sharing a picture of my post-baby bod… I know I looked hot. Or not. At this point I was nursing exclusively so I really felt helpless as far as cutting calories and was too overwhelmed to even think about challenging myself beyond walking the stairs multiple times a night to feed my babe. You new mamas feel me, right?

My sister and I decided to do the Whole 30 together. During the 30 days, I also started trying to add resistance training into my workout since finding time to run was challenging with an infant and a two year old. I would work out about three days a week for 30 minutes. Doesn’t sound like much but you gotta start somewhere.

Before                                    After

After I completed the Whole 30, I got pretty relaxed about what I was eating again. I still tried to stick to the 80/20 rule (Eat clean 80% of the time) but I felt like I had kind of plateaued. I was doing the same exact exercises every week. I was bored.

I stumbled across the BBG (Sweat with Kayla) workout plan while scrolling thru instagram and seeing all the incredible before and after pictures. My sister had just purchased the guides so she let me give them a try. 
Oh. Man.
I couldn’t do it. I’m not even kidding. Like I couldn’t do any of it. I was huffing and puffing and literally feeling like I was going to die. Trying to finish three burpees in a row had me envisioning the next days headlines 
“Local woman sweats to death after attempting consecutive burpees.” 
What a way to go.
But the strange thing was, I actually got excited about doing the workout. It was different every time and even tho I saw some of the same exercises, it always felt new and challenging. The longer I did it, the more I thought “this has to get easier, right?” Wrong. The longer you do it, the harder it gets. But that’s the beauty of it. You never get bored and you actually see results.
The other thing I love about this workout is that it’s fast. 28 minutes and you’re done. 
Nowadays I’m doing at least three BBG resistance training sessions per week along with two cardio sessions that last about an hour. I’m also really trying to up my protein intake and continuing to stay away from sugar in all of its glorious forms. I still love you, starbucks. 
              Pre-BBG                                          4 months after starting BBG
I’m not a machine. I still have to struggle thru finding balance week by week in my eating but I don’t miss my workouts. Whether it’s at night or in the morning. During nap or jumping around my babies when they’re awake, I just know it’s going to get done. I don’t say that to sound cocky. I just know how I feel when I’m working out and I know what it does for my overall outlook. I also love that my girls can watch me do something consistently that’s good for me. Today in Target, Rowen was doing a (very strange looking) sit up like motion in the buggy. She looked at me and said “I do my wookouts, mommy.” I died. 
The BBG plan is now in an awesome app format making it super easy to get started. It is a little on the expensive side but I think it’s well worth it. 
I think the moral of this story is that sometimes you just need to start something. Just get moving. And if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, then change what you’re doing. 
If you have any questions about the workout, please let me know in comments! I’d be happy to help in any way I can. 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy hump day!
Laura

Mother’s Day Weekend + My Favorite New Shoes

Hi!

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day. Friday night Matt took me to dinner at Stoney River. I told him my only stipulation was that we go somewhere with really good dessert. The only problem was, after we ate our dinner, there was zero room for dessert. Matt always jokes that I have a little space in my stomach that’s always ready for dessert but even that space was like “Um, no way.”

Saturday morning I went with my mom and sister to a private shopping party at Kendra Scott at Avalon. It was so fun! Each guest got flowers, a gift card, and a yummy little breakfast to munch on while we shopped. And boy did we shop. I love the new spring line but ended up using my gift card to buy this beautiful necklace.

My stone is a dark grey but the awesome thing about this style is that it’s semi opaque so whatever color is underneath will kind of transform the stone to match.

Saturday night we took Matt’s mom to dinner and Sunday morning, Matt and Reese brought me my gifts and coffee in bed and then we all got ready for brunch.

Reese wanted to sit next to me at brunch. Pretty sure it was because she wanted some of my bananas foster french toast (yum)
Back to my moms house to hang with the rest of the family.

Love my little fam!!

One of my favorite things Matt got me this year are these grey nike tennis shoes. They’re like bedroom slippers. I’m not even kidding. I literally have only taken them off to sleep since yesterday. The best price I’ve found is from Zappos. Plus, you get free shipping!

Thanks for stopping by! Later this week I’m going to be sharing my workout routine. Warning: It’ll kick your tail.
Happy Monday, friends!
Laura