Show some holiday love this “Small Business Saturday”

Thanksgiving is only 15 days away- the official beginning of Christmas shopping madness. I am happy to say that I began hunting for gifts in March- no last minute craziness for me, although I do enjoy it.

However, this season I vowed to shop a little differently. I want to purchase the majority of my Christmas gifts from local businesses.

Small Business Saturday, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, was created as a counterpart to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a day created to support local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. “For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 returns to the community,” states Civic Economics.

I understand there is a chance this venture can more costly than purchasing at large corporations and chain retailers, but I also know the positive impact it will have. When I buy from the local boutiques, toy stores, and coffee shops I am helping to embrace what makes my community unique. You can do the same, wherever in the world you live!

The most beautiful, eclectic, unique items can be found when shopping local or small businesses. I recently purchased a woolen snood and knit hat from Posh– a chic boutique in town. I highly recommend visiting if you are in the Rochester area.

posh boutique small business saturday

And hopefully I can continue this shopping habit throughout the year. There are 364 more days in the year filled with other holidays and birthdays that I intend to shop local as well.

shop small business saturday

Will you be showing small businesses some extra love this year?

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Lauren

Embrace the cape!

With the winter chill arriving in Minnesota quicker than I hoped, I needed a new way to stay warm and fashionable. I love my down feather Calvin Klein coat, however, it becomes quite monotonous when worn every single day. I wanted to switch it up occasionally- try a new trend other than a long black coat.

I have already seen several women on the street flaunting their flowing capes (or as some might call a poncho). Could this new fad be the piece of clothing to break up my chilly day boredom?

So, it brings us to today- I bought a cape.

cape and hat

This particular one I found while browsing SheIn, a website that offers fashionable clothes at steep discounts. I figured I would purchase one cape and see if the trend was for me.

fashionable and fun cap and hat

spinning, cape and hat

All I have to say is the cape is everything I had hoped it to be and more. The cape is warm and stylish, not to mention comfortable and versatile- exactly what I was hoping to achieve. I am a true cape lover now- it also helps to receive several compliments while wearing it.

Why stop at buying just one cape? I found other options to potentially add to my closet:

Western influence and some fringe from Forever 21- http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?br=F21&category=sweater&productid=2000142655

A sophisticated plaid look from Forever 21- http://www.forever21.com/product/product_oos.aspx?br=f21&category=outerwear_coats-and-jackets&productid=2000099685

Faux fur for the perfect night look from Michael Kors- http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/michael-michael-kors-faux-fur-cape?ID=2252555&CategoryID=269&LinkType=#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D406%26slotId%3D23%26kws%3Dcape

Don’t fear the cape, embrace it!

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Lauren

Even Mary Poppins gets in the Halloween spirit

Halloween arrives every year on the same day, October 31st. You’d think that I would finally be prepared for the day- costume already chosen, prepped, and ready.

Once again the night before I am going back and forth between 20 costumes trying to determine which would be the cutest, cheapest, and most original. Scouring through my closet for viable Halloween clothing, I discovered I had several key pieces for one simple costume.

Mary Poppins! The costume is quite simple and broken down into a few key components:

-White button-up shirt
-Black skirt (long or short)
-Black tights
-Black heels
-Black hat
-Red bow (children’s department at JcPenny)
-Red fake flowers (dollar store)
-Black umbrella (optional)

Voila!

Mary Poppins Costume UmbrellaMary Poppins Hat

Mary Poppins Costume

People this weekend will see this magical nanny prancing around downtown umbrella and a spoonful of sugar packed away in her bag.

Hope everyone has a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Halloween!

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Mary Poppins (aka Lauren)

More clothes = more exercise?

I worked hard this summer- spent long hours at the office, ate a [strict] healthy diet, and exercised on occasion. Mostly it was my energetic lifestyle and the long summer hours that kept me in check.

Now the days have shortened, the hours in the office have decreased (only slightly), and I’m craving comfort food as the weather chills. I have a wedding lurking in the near future that I need to stay toned and healthy for. Plus, I can’t afford to pay for dress alterations, as it fit perfectly several weeks ago.

What is a girl to do? Buy more athletic clothes of course!

I figured to jumpstart a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, I should have new clothes to support it. If I feel confident and excited to put on my workout clothes, I’ll be more willing to actually workout. That is half the battle right there.

Obviously I am not the only one with the same thinking process. Kate Hudson recently launched her adorable new activewear line, Fabletics, designed to transition from workouts to daily activities. Why should you wear torn t-shirts or Soffe shorts you’ve owned since high school while out for a run or during yoga?

I purged my closet. I cleared it of all torn, stained, and oversized t-shirts and shorts- which left me with basically nothing. And I obviously can’t work out nude. So, I’ve been scoping out new activewear replacements online for possible purchases, which I don’t recommend doing late at night while home alone.

A pair of Lululemon I've been drooling over.
A pair of Lululemon leggings I’ve been drooling over lately. Perfect to transition from workout to brunch!

And it has seemed to work thus far- I’ve also purchased a class pass to this fabulous, hidden-gem fitness boutique, Studio on Third. My new addiction is Barre. After my years of dance this workout really speaks to me. Has anyone else given it a try?

To everyone looking to make a jump-start a healthy lifestyle- you can do it! You deserve a new outfit. There is no shame in feeling and looking beautiful while getting your sweat on.

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Lauren

I’m Back… Promise!

Hello all my lovely followers! Sorry for the slight hiatus, I promise I have a good excuse. If you have been following my Instagram, you’ll have noticed I was making waves in the community.

From July through late September I was planning, preparing, and directing Style on the Plaza– an annual fashion show that showcases local businesses and highlights the community’s unique style. This was my first, of hopefully many, shows that I directed. I have been in a whirlwind of excitement and stress as the last several months have been strictly focused on planning this event. There was barely time to stop for food and sleep. But, in the end, it was COMPLETELY worth it.

Style on the Plaza
Courtesy of A-B Photography

I even became a “local celebrity” after making the cover photo for Rochester Magazine. It gets slightly weird seeing your face on every street corner though…

Rochester Magazine- Style on the Plaza

Next year I hope to spotlight more on the blog- discuss the process, talk about my method for choosing clothes and merchandise, and vent about all the craziness behind the scenes. Now that I have my groove it will be a whole lot easier… I’m hoping.

Just wanted to give a quick update that I’ll be back again, posting at least once a week. This is my favorite season, so I know there will be lots to talk about. Crazy to think my blog is already approaching a year old! Where has the time gone?

Keep an eye out again this week for another post- fall necessities, maybe?

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Lauren

My new addiction: midi skirts

Even after repeating “I am only here to pick up a birthday gift, I will not buy anything for myself” several thousand times, I still managed to walk out of the mall with two beautiful midi skirts.

Drifting through the mall, my eyes slowly locked onto a gorgeous black midi skirt within a boutique, Posh Love. Lucky for me it was my size and the LAST one! Before checking out, another midi skirt caught my eye. I just couldn’t stop! Two midi skirts later…

Midi-Skirts

Lately, in the summer heat, I have been pairing my midi skirts with crop tops. To be more work appropriate, a crisp button up and sparkly necklace. Either way, the versatility of the midi skirt is amazing.

Black-Midi-Crop-Top

Black-Midi-Button-Up

I better make more room in my closet because I’m addicted.

Patterned dresses: The only geometry I need to know

I was never one for math. I understood the lessons and usually got a decent grade on tests, however, it never tickled my fancy. Nevertheless, when I see complex, geometric patterns on a dress I get more excited than a mathematician solving an impossible quadratic equation. I love pieces of clothing that have stimulation and buzz. Flashy shapes, colors, and textures attract me like Einstein to a mass-energy formula.

Just as every trip to Target, I went in to pick up fruit and cereal, and came out with a cart full of extra items, including a beautiful clearance dress. I was trying hard to avoid eye contact with the women’s clothing racks, despite that out of the corner of my eye I spotted a fabulous black, white, and coral geometric print dress. I slowly approached it, mesmerized by its fantastic pattern, realizing it was my size and at severely reduced price. It was fate. I premiered the dress on date night, paired ever so perfectly with my coral necklace and bracelet.

Geometric-Pattern-DressAlthough you may not be a fan of math, this dress is proof that to always appreciate the beauty of structured lines and shapes found within an astounding geometric patterned piece of clothing. It’s a fabulous, and cheap, trend to give a try!

Peace, love, and fashion happiness,

Lauren