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

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

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday!

Hooray!

Matt is taking me out to celebrate Mother’s Day tonight and I am so excited. Pretty sure we are gonna throw it back old school and go eat at our favorite steak house we used to go to for special events in college. They have the most delicious rolls on the face of the planet. So what else could you want?

Today I wanted to share a few things that I’m loving right now…

First up?!

These shorts! I have been HUNTING a pair of shorts like these and every time I saw what looked to be the right pair, they were like $90. I just can’t spend $90 on ripped up denim. I just can’t. Target had my back and had these distressed cut offs in stores this week. I almost didn’t even try them on because they were high rise and when I read high rise, I usually translate to “wedgy”. But I sized up a size planning to wear these at my waist and they’re so perfect. Not to mention they were under $25. That’s what I’m talking about.

This smoothie… 
Recipe:
8 oz water
1 cup raw spinach
1/2 avacado
1 banana
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS collagen protein (see below)
It is like a tropical oasis in a cup and it’s GOOD FOR YOU. I’m not kidding. It’s the best.
OK so speaking of collagen protein… we were kind of, right? I add it to all my smoothies and it has a ton of health benefits. You can’t taste it. It dissolves easily. And just LOOK at some of the health benefits:
  • regulates metabolism
  • enhances the body’s ability to repair connective tissue 
  • supports healthy cell function
I mean, you had me at “regulates metabolism” but it’s also made my hair and nails stronger and has cleared up my skin. So I’d say it’s a winner. I love this kind from amazon.
Last, but not least, I want to share my absolute favorite tank top ever in the history of the world. It’s so soft but still pretty sturdy. It fits like a dream and it comes in a bunch of different colors.
That’s it for today! I hope you have an amazing Mother’s Day weekend!!
Laura

Remember

Hi, friend!

Happy hump day! Hope your day is going well.

First off, just want to say THANK YOU for stopping by my blog today. I get so much joy out of sharing a little bit of my heart here and I’m grateful to have you follow along.

I wanted to share a bit about how I stay on top of keeping some of my favorite moments alive. My kids say and do some amazing things on the regular (ok I think they’re amazing) and one of my biggest fears is that I’ll forget these precious little things they do. I want to be able to look back and recall the nuances of their personalities, especially as they develop so quickly through these early years. I also want them to be able to have some good reading material for when they’re older… wink wink.

So what I started doing is keeping a memory journal right by my bed. So whenever something they do is especially funny or cute, I write it down. I also like to write little love notes to them pretty frequently so that they can read about all the things I appreciated and loved about them as they were growing up.

I think the key here is keeping my book out as a reminder to keep adding to it and keeping it convenient by always having a pen close by. I mean what a HUGE inconvenience to actually have to walk to the kitchen to get a pen. Aint nobody got time for that.

I love love love these notebooks from Rifle Paper Co.

But remember you don’t have to make it complicated. Just start somewhere.

We are the memory keepers for our family so having these little moments written down for future enjoyment is so important!

Hope you have a fun Wednesday!

Laura