Thinking Happy Thoughts

Hi, friends!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope this Monday is being nice to you.

I’m really loving the pixie pants from Old Navy right now. Anything that works for Spring/Summer and can still stick around for the Fall is a win in my book. These gingham pants are on clearance but they’re coming out with tons of new patterns for these peplum tops so I imagine we will be seeing loooooots more of these to come. I’m not mad about it. The $15 dollar price tag is also something to not be mad about.

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You know the age old saying, “you are what you eat”? I don’t necessarily think that’s true because if it were, I’d be a bowl of mixed berries. Can’t seem to get enough of those these days. #pregnancycravings #exceptnot

But even if you aren’t what you eat, you are what you think. Your thought life will literally determine the way you view your circumstances, others, and yourself. So disciplining your thoughts then becomes one of the most important things you can do.

We spend hours in the gym (ok, I don’t but maybe you do?). We read labels before buying certain foods and household products. We even carry tiny bottles of germ killers and lather up every time a threat to our well being arrives (looking at you, public bathrooms).

Yet, for so many of us, thinking “happy thoughts” is a ridiculous notion that’s cute for Disney movies but not applicable in real life. Seems much more viable to allow negative thoughts to wreak havoc on our thought life and just assume that it’s normal. Riiiiiiiiight.

Well, it’s not normal.

Here are a few ways I’ve been practicing whipping those joy-killing thoughts into shape:

1. Discipline your disappointments: It doesn’t take long for me to jump to conclusions, and if you even try to tell me not to get my hopes up… LOL. TOO LATE. The highs are fun but when I hit those lows, I really let myself sink. SO instead of showing up to the pity party, I shut it down. By literally just deciding to revert my thoughts to something else, I don’t give the disappointment the freedom to de-rail me.

2. Stop the Spiral: After giving birth to Rowen, I had three months to fit into a bridesmaids dress for my sisters wedding. Pressure was ON. I was nursing exclusively so I had to be so careful about everything I did. I tried my dress on when it arrived and the dang thing wouldn’t zip. Keep in mind, I still had months before it had to zip. But I allowed myself to spiral. First I was disappointed about the dress, but then like a toxic ooz, the disappointment starting seeping into other areas of my mind. “Not only am I too fat for my dress to fit but I’m pretty sure my marriage stinks, my kids are annoying, my house is ugly, and I have nothing to wear to the rehearsal dinner (in three months)”. It happens fast. But stopping the spiral needs to happen faster. It’s like you come up with two choices as soon as the reality of negativity hits: You can focus on the negative. OR you can focus on the positive. It really is that easy. Like a muscle, it starts out weak and then the more you use it, it starts to get stronger.

3. Protect against Patterns: Sometimes you just can’t help running into negativity, but where you can help it, DO. For instance, I noticed that every time I weighed myself, I would either be happy because I met a goal or sad because I didn’t. I realized after weeks of taking my frustration out on whoever ended up in my post-scale encounter wake that it just wasn’t worth it. Sometimes, when possible, just remove the trigger. Case and point, I stopped weighing myself. As long my clothes fit, I was reaching goals. So it really didn’t matter what the scale said anyway. If you can remove whatever is triggering your negativity, always do that first. If there’s a few people you follow on social media that make you feel bad about yourself in one way or another, UNFOLLOW. Even for a time. It’s ok. You can always follow back. Taking the time to really learn what triggers negativity in your mind is vital to having a happy thought life. Really start trying to notice what is causing you to develop patterns of negativity and you can actually start doing something about it

4. Read the WORD: I just can’t stress enough the power that is in God’s word in helping to align your mind with things that are true. Every morning during my time with the Lord (Reading the Bible and praying), I ask God to renew my mind. It’s like when you’re needing to see something new on your screen, you just refresh it. Reading the Bible is the most powerful way to refresh and renew your thoughts. If you’re new to the Bible reading thing, I’d suggest starting by reading a Proverbs for each day of the month. I also love Philippians. Yes, the whole book. So good. You can add in a devotional like Jesus Calling or something from the app She Reads Truth. As you start each morning this way, you’ll begin to see a huge difference in your thoughts!

Over the past eight years of our marriage, Matt and I have crazy amounts of ups and downs mostly due to his health. He has an auto immune disease that’s had him hospitalized for over a month already this year. If there’s one thing we have learned during this season of our lives, it’s that while we can’t control what happens to us, we CAN control how we respond. We choose happiness. You can too. Even if it means you need to see a professional to help you navigate thru the depth of your thoughts. Do it. You’re worth it.

A negative mindset is just a thought away. But guess what? So is a positive and happy one. You get to decide!

Happiest of Mondays to you!

All my love,

Laura

How To Get Out Of A Style Rut

It’s Friday!

Hooray!

How fun are these crop pants I found at Target this week. They’re on major sale (under $10) and pair well with this cute black zipper clutch from Old Navy (also on sale. duh)

Ok, so let’s talk about ruts… of the stylistic variety.

Even the most fashionable among us can get a little bored with the same old looks we’ve been looking at.

I feel I’m qualified to speak on such subjects since I myself have been the victim of past ruts. I wore the same shade of lipstick for years. I’ve had the same style sunglasses for like ever. If something works, I work it hard. But occasionally I do get bored and begin to feel the need to try something new.

It usually starts with feeling frustrated while getting ready. It’s like opening the fridge over and over again expecting something delicious to appear. I stand in front of hangers on hangers of clothes that I picked out for myself and still don’t feel enthused about wearing any of it.

“How did I get here?”, I think.

So I decide it’s time to shop.

I go to my favorite store and see the same stuff I just saw hanging in my closet but this time it’s ever so slightly varied and an additional 40% off so I end up buying more of the same old same old.

Or worse.

I go total opposite extreme head first into crazy town USA and end up coming home with bright yellow six inch heels and a pleather jumpsuit. “Sounds comfy for a day of chasing a toddler”, said no mom ever.

Is there a better way?

I think so.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making the treck out of style Snoozeville…

1. Find your style Spirit Animal: Maybe you’re wondering what a spirit animal is. Honestly I don’t think anyone really knows the exact origins of this term but I typically use it to describe a person that is like a cooler and more epic version of myself. One of the things I love about the instagram community is that there’s a ridiculous amount of inspiration out there. Do a little search and find someone whose style you looooove. Follow them and let them do the work for you. Finding someone that has a similar build is even better because you might could just knock off their entire outfits and even know how sizing works. God bless online shopping.

2. Clean out your closet: I wrote a post a while ago about how to have a successful closet clean out and I really feel like this is the first step in the right direction. Moving away from the very items that are making you feel frumpy will be liberating. Stop looking at clothes you don’t like. I’d rather stare at an empty closet and feel inspired about what could be than see a closet full of buying mistakes.

3. Take a shopping buddy: Chances are you have friends who have good taste in style. If you don’t, you may need to hire a friend. If you can’t hire someone, maybe at the least you have an acqaintance with a great eye for style. Even if you’re not on the “shop with me for hours at the loft” level, maybe you’re at the “keep your phone close by so I can text pics” level. Sometimes you just need a second opinion. And no, the dressing room attendant doesn’t count. You should never ever under any circumstances put that poor person in such an awkward position. Not only do they not know you, but they’re also loyal to the retailer that PAYS THEM. You just expect to can’t gain that level of trust.

4. Try things you think won’t work for you: There’s a difference between things that don’t look good on you and things you think won’t look good on you. The only way to tell the difference is to try. I always assumed that anything high on the waste line looked bad on me. I had never tried it but I wrote it off. My sister made me try on high wasted jeans and I was shocked by how much I loved them. Recognize that the reason you came to this place of feeling stylistically challenged is because you have developed a specific buying pattern. Jump off the crazy cycle and try something different. You never know what you’ll discover.

5. Try different stores: If you think “I’m too old to shop there” you should still try. If you think “I’d never find anything from there” look anyway. Shake things up by seeing what different stores have to offer. I love shopping at places like Dress Up because they get new styles every week. I also love uncovering new online boutiques because they too will get new styles in frequently.

Just the fact that you’re finishing up this post shows that you’re committed to pulling yourself up by your cognac riding boot straps to make things better. So get out there and try new stores, new styles, and get the right inspiration to keep you on the right track.

Hope your weekend is magical!

Happy styling!

Laura

Little White Off the Shoulder Dress

If you’re loving the off the shoulder trend as much as I am, then you are really, really loving it. It’s easy to find because all the retailers you know and love are totally committed to this trend. And could we maybe just take a minute to rejoice in the fact that the hottest look of the Spring and Summer is pretty much just a pillowcase with sleeves. It’s loose. It’s forgiving. It’s flattering. It’s comfortable. We are living right, ladies.

This little white off the shoulder dress I’m wearing is from Dress Up and it’s no longer available online. BUT I did find a very similar style from Target.

And just a heads up, if you’re a small build like me (ie flat chested) then I’d go for the OTS styles with the ruffle at the bust. It gives a flounce where you need it and makes for a much more flattering fit.

Laura

Keeping Your Kitchen Clean

Hi, friends!

Hope you’re settling beautifully into this short week. I’m so excited to share this yummy strawberry shortcake recipe that I tried this weekend for our Memorial Day family supper.

Shortcakes:
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 TBS Arrowroot flour
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 TBS raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 TBS water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, then add honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Combine. Add in water and stir until batter thickens. Grease a mini muffin tin with coconut oil and place small ball-shaped dough chunks into the muffin tins. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. I put mine in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Coconut whipped cream:
1 can refrigerated coconut cream (Got mine from trader joes)
1 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine and whip on high til peaks form. Keep in fridge til ready to serve.

Slice up some fresh strawberries and enjoy a guilt-free treat that even those not impressed by healthy eating will love.

Original recipe here.

Now since we’re already in the kitchen… let’s talk about keeping it clean!

These “tips” are just things I do every day cuz if momma’s kitchen aint clean, it’s not gonna be good.

1. Before I go to bed every night, I make sure the kitchen is completely clean. I know this is tough because coming down stairs after getting the babes in bed or finishing up work, it sounds a lot better to netflix and chill than it does to load the dishwasher. But waking up in the morning to a clean kitchen is worth it. Every. Single. Time.

2. Clean off your counters completely after every meal. Part of the problem in the kitchen is that because it’s such a lived in space, the mess compounds. The bigger the mess, the more overwhelming it is to clean. The more overwhelming it is to clean, the less likely you are to want to do it, making the mess even bigger. See the cycle? Jump off that craziness and just decide to clean the mess while it’s still small. Commit to have completely cleaned off counter tops before leaving the kitchen after a meal.

3. Junk the junk drawer. Here’s the problem with junk drawers: They don’t just stay contained. When you start accumulating piles of stuff that you don’t feel like organizing, it develops a habit that will spill over into the rest of your house. We have a drawer in our house called organization station (feel free to make fun) and it’s where we keep things we need on a daily basis like scissors, tape, batteries, bandaids, and chip clips. As soon as it starts feeling neglected, I clean it out. Not only does it make life a lot easier to know where to find things, but it also keeps the clutter from creeping out of it’s drawer and taking over the rest of our house!

4. Train your family to help you. If you don’t have kids, you can skip this part. Set the expectation for your husband and kiddos that unless you’re in the middle of meal prep, the kitchen needs to be clean. This means if you’re done with something, you need to clean it up. As moms, it’s sooooo much easier to just clean up after everybody cuz we fast but teaching your kids (and husband) to clean up after themselves will really help you in the long run. It needs to be a team effort.

5. Add in pretty touches to make you want to clean your kitchen. I’ve found when I have lit candles, fresh flowers, and pretty music playing, I’m about a hundred times more likely to want to clean my kitchen. Then when it’s clean, it’s actually a place a want to linger and enjoy. I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So having a few of my favorite things in there is just a must.

Hope you have a great Wednesday today, yall! Later today, I’m sharing a sweet little white off the shoulder dress!
Laura

Friday Favorites – Beach Edition

Hi, Friends!

Happy FRIDAY!!!!!!

There are few things I love more than the Friday before a long weekend. So excited to get some family time in this weekend.

I’m excited to share a few of my favorites for beach trips today. If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw that we just got back from a long weekend in Gulf Shores with our babies so I want to share while everything is fresh in my mind.

Beach Bum Sun Screen: Not only does it smell uhhhhhhhh-mazing, but it also is fairly clean. It has no parabens and is oil free and PABA free. It’s also not too thick. We’ve had some natural sunscreens in the past that were literally like rubbing tooth paste on your skin. No thank you.

This swimsuit from Old Navy. It’s a great fit and it’s currently 50% off!

Fringe Beach Towel: I found these beautiful Serena and Lili fringe beach towels but couldn’t pull the trigger on the $48 price tag. BUT #targetdoesitagain and I found a perfect knock off for less than $15! Hooray!

Pom Pom Cover Up: I’m a sucker for anything with pom poms and this swim cover is just the most perfect one I’ve found! The price tag is pretty sweet too!

I’m also linking a past post I did about how to have a successful trip to the beach with babies in tow!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend!!

Laura