Friday, February 28, 2014

5 on Friday - Red Carpet Fashion Love!

Linking up again with the sweet ladies at The Good LifeA. Liz Adventures.  Hello! Happiness. Carolina Charm for 5 on Friday! 

One of my favorite days of the year is this weekend....Oscar Sunday!!  For the most shallow of reasons, of course.  My interest is primarily in the fashion with some mild curiosity about who will win the "big" awards.  The middle section does nothing to hold my attention.  However, I will be taping so Natalie can hear the fabulous Idina Menzel perform "Let it Go".

The red carpet fashion is always so interesting to me.  I love the red carpet shows leading up to the awards, checking out pictures online and hearing everyone's opinion on best and worst dressed.  Isn't it funny how someone can end up on both lists?  Even when the dress doesn't seem particularly polarizing or much of a risk.  Sometimes I agree and sometimes not (I'm looking at you E! Fashion Police).

So in honor of my love of Red Carpet fashion I am sharing looks from this award season from five beautiful ladies.  These are also the ladies I am most excited to see this Sunday.  What color and style will they pick?!?  Will they take a risk or play it safe?!  I can hardly contain my excitement! ;)

Out of all the ladies this award season, Lupita Nyong'o has been my absolute favorite!  She is so beautiful and carries herself with such grace and sophistication.  The sea blue dress is by far my favorite dress.  The neckline is such a statement and it looks flawless on her.
I also love that she has worn lots of color and while the silhouette is pretty much the same on the white, red and blue dresses they all have different feels to them because of the necklines.  The green dress is gorgeous and is a great color for her.  Plus I love the gold belt!
I am hoping she keeps up her winning dress streak and pulls out another vibrant color for the Oscars!
Cate Blanchett is just gorgeous.  Simple as that.  Her style is definitely more on the fashion forward side which causes her to have some hits and misses along the way.  Well maybe that is more a non-fashion person's opinion.  :)
I have really liked most of her dresses this season though I think the black dress on the far left (from the BAFTAs) is pretty it is a little too plain for me.  The bib look of the pink dress didn't bother me as much as it bothered other people because it was unlike anything I had seen before.  The risk was interesting in my book.
For the Oscars I really hope she choses something other than black (way too much this year!) and shows off her fashion forward sense.
Amy Adams is beautiful but I don't always love her fashion choices.  With that said, when I do love them, I really love them.  The blue dress was phenomenal from the hair to her shoes to the neckline and belt.  Gorgeous.  I was on the fence on the pink dress because I really liked the style but not the color - though I'm not sure what color it would have looked better in.  Maybe green?  I thought the black dress was pretty but it didn't blow me away.  As for the maroon and red dress?  I didn't get it but maybe it had to do with the missing cape that she ditched when Lupita Nyong'o showed up in her red dress.
Amy always looks beautiful so I am definitely curious to see what she will do for the Oscars.
 Jennifer Lawerence is another one who has interesting choices.  I haven't loved nor hated anything in particular that she wore this year but in the past the girl has brought it!  While I thought her Oscars dress last year (on the right) was a little too wedding, it was still beautiful.  Plus she had the gorgeous backwards necklace.  Loved it!
Here's to hoping she really steps up her game this weekend!

Five is a combined spot.  I love the simplistic looks Jennifer has pulled out this year.  The texture of the red dress is so cool and different.  I haven't seen a lot of her this season and she hasn't been particularly show stopping recently but I am still looking forward to what she will wear.  I think her dresses tend to fall more in line with what us common folk could wear!
Margot Robbie is beautiful.  Period.  So although I have only seen her a couple times, she has looked phenomenal both times.  I loved the green accents and green shoes at the Golden Globes.  And that slit?  Yowzers!  Plus that jumpsuit (is that the right term?) is super sexy.  I am very curious to see what she will do on Sunday.

So that is it.  There will be lots more beautiful ladies on the red carpet on Sunday and really, I am looking forward to all of them.

Are you looking forward to the red carpet fashion on Sunday?  Anyone in particular that you can't wait to see??

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Confession Time

So I have a confession to make...I am an Oreo purist.  No double stuff.  No Golden cookie.  Seriously I don't even understand the Golden cookies.  No weird crème color.  I like my Oreo in its original form.  Preferably dipped in milk.  Yum.  I may or may not have had Oreos every evening during my pregnancy with Natalie. 

Lucky for me and my waistline I have learned to control my desire to eat Oreos every day and have gotten to the point where I rarely even purchase them any more. 

That all changed one fateful day last week....

We were on a little excursion to Target we stumbled on the Oreo display with some of their limited edition flavors.  This specific display had the Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy editions.  Hmm, interesting.  I had heard mixed reviews of both flavors but of course I needed to try for myself.  Because frankly, I didn't know how anything with cookie dough could be anything short of divine.  Maybe that's just me though! :)

 I tried to show some restraint by letting Natalie choose which flavor we purchased.  Too bad she chose wrong.  :)  She picked the Marshmallow Crispy but of course I wanted to try the Cookie Dough.  Like I said earlier, I prefer the cookie in my Oreo to be chocolate, not the weird vanilla.  So we left the store with both flavors.


The Cookie Dough was interesting and I can confirm they do have a coffee taste.  Actually they seemed to taste more like coffee than cookie dough.  You could tell they were close to getting the cookie dough flavor right but just missed the mark a little bit.  With that being said they were still pretty good and the coffee flavor did nothing to deter me from eating them.  Darn. 
Oh and the chocolate cookie tasted like the original Oreo.  Of course I would assume it was the same chocolate cookie for ALL versions that contained the chocolate cookie....but I think I assumed wrong.
All in all, I enjoyed this cookie but did not feel the pull to purchase them again when I was at the grocery store.

The Marshmallow Crispy was a big hit with both Natalie and the hubby.  It was interesting in that the crème filling had bits of what I assume were rice krispies.  I was actually surprised that I enjoyed the vanilla cookie.  Hmm, have I been missing out being an Oreo original snob?
The crème on this version was pretty good too.  The krispies in the crème made it different and kind of interesting.
This version garnered a request to purchase again from the hubs.

This week at the grocery store we (of course) had to check out their offering of limited edition (or special edition?) Oreos.  They carried a couple different ones but Natalie chose the Berry Burst version.  Think it may have had something to do with the pink filling?! 
These are....different.  For one, the chocolate cookie does not taste right as far as I am concerned.  I do NOT understand this at all.  Not even a little bit.  The only thing I can think of is that the crème filling has such a strong flavor that it taints the taste of the cookie.
This cookie is pretty good if you like fruity flavors but I don't think I would buy them again.  
Honestly, I think trying each version is enough to quench my curiosity.  And for that my waistline is thankful.  :)
While checking out the Oreo website I realized they have all kinds of special flavors that I had not been aware of.  Guess that is what I get after overindulging on them and then avoiding their section of the cookie aisle.  Damn the special display at Target!
Peanut Butter?  Hmm, I do love peanut butter and chocolate.  Could this be any good?? Or will be expectations be too high?  There is only one way to find out ;)

Lord help me if I find these in the store.  I may actually love bananas and chocolate more than peanut butter and chocolate....
How would this compare to Thin Mints?  The chocolately goodness of an Oreo is pretty tough to top.  Combined with mint it may be even better...
I don't even know what to say about this one.  I hope I never find it so I am never tempted to eat them because I fear I may hoard the box and not allow anyone else in my family to try them.
Here is Natalie showing off her favorite version. 
So there it is, my journey from Oreo original snob to trying the special versions. :)
Yes, I did just devote an entire post to Oreos.  I can't quite believe it myself.  Unfortunately, no one at Oreo is paying for me to buy or try any of these flavors!   :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Us - Everyday. Week 8

Another fun week :)
Day 48:  We definitely need to work on our selfies but I love the sweet hug Natalie is giving Chase in this picture.
(Feb 17)

 Day 49:  Rocking the stripes!
(Feb 18)

Day 50:  Chase hanging out with his bff Vincent.
Vincent is one of my dearest friend's little boy and just 8 weeks older than Chase.
I can't wait to watch them grow up together!
(Feb 19)

Day 51:  Fun with Letters Story Time at the library.
She was showing off her letter tracing skills :)
(Feb 20)

 Day 52:  Another story time at the library.
This one was with our friends at MOPS and all about moose.
(Feb 21)

Day 53:  After 2 story times this week, we happened on Curious George at the local Barnes & Noble.
Natalie was NOT impressed at all!  :)  She didn't want to go anywhere near George and even asked to leave half way through the story. 
 Hmm, has me rethinking our Disneyworld plans.  Is will be different with the princesses, right?!?
(Feb 22)

Day 54:  My loves spending a lazy Sunday afternoon cuddled on the couch.
Don't you just love Natalie's comfy outfit?  This girl has some serious style sense :)
(Feb 23)

Friday, February 21, 2014

5 on Friday- A little of this, A little of that...

I missed last week but am ready to link up again with the sweet ladies at The Good LifeA. Liz Adventures.  Hello! Happiness. Carolina Charm for 5 on Friday! 

Believe it or not I am sitting at my computer writing this post next to an open window.  No, I promise I am not having a hot flash or going thru menopause.  :)  I can hardly believe I am going to type this but it is currently 68* outside!  In February!  What?!?!  I love these days spring tease days even though I know we will be right back in winter next week (or probably tomorrow).

I recently became a follower of Jen over at IHeart Organizing.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you must.  Like now.  I will wait (and yes, I fully acknowledge that I will be waiting for quite awhile because there is a whole lot of goodness going on over there)  See?  Jen has some seriously fabulous ideas on DIY and organization.  I am impressed by every one of her posts.  She really knows how to kick it up a notch on each project.  Did you see the post on her marble top coffee table here?  Creative genius I tell you.

I recently attempted my first reorg inspired by her toy organization post here.  Check out my version here.

So I have created my own little list of organization projects to tackle in my own home.  First up, my pantry.  Next, my closet.  After that, the laundry room.  I can't wait to get started!  I am a little overwhelmed by ideas but I am excited to see how I can put my own spin on each project.  Wish me luck!  I will definitely share my results but probably not the 'before' because that would just be embarrassing!  :)

On a different note, I sooo badly want to find a chair to redo.  Do you think I could make it look anywhere as cute as hers? 
After almost 6 months of battling with a local hospital regarding a billing error on their (and my insurance company's) part, I FINALLY succeeded in getting it corrected.  It may not seem like a lot but I called over 15 different times, talked to numerous managers, and threatened to write letters before they fixed it.  I felt like throwing a little party when I received a bill this week with the correct balance.  :)
These kiddos.  They love each other so much!  It melts my heart to watch them play together or try and make each other smile.  Chase already has a knack for spotting when Natalie is upset and trying to make her laugh!  The other day I saw Chase look at Natalie with so much love in his eyes that it made me tear up.  So sweet...

Party planning is in full effect for Chase's first birthday party!  We are going with a baseball theme and I am so excited for all the little details. 
I designed the invitations on and couldn't be happier with the result.  Have you ever used that website for invites?  If not, you should check out the tutorial here.  Her explanations are super easy to follow. 
We are going full into the theme with "game day", "first pitch", "Chase Stadium", "Rsvp to Coach" and "Rookie of the Year".  We also decided to go with typical baseball stadium cuisine (concessions!) for food.  It will be all about the {all star} hot dogs, {strike out} nacho bar, {grand slam} chicken wings, popcorn and peanuts.  Yummy! 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Favorite Things Link Up - February

Today I am linking up with Erika at A Little Bit of Everything and Andrea at Never Say Never for their Favorite Things Party.
My name is Lauren and I have an addiction to coffee creamer.  Yes, it is true.  I must have a cup of coffee everyday but I prefer my coffee to taste more like a dessert in a cup than actual, you know, coffee. :)
Now during the winter I usually stick to my old standby of Peppermint Mocha for coffee creamer but I do like to spice it up every once in awhile.  And truth be told, as with everything this current winter, I am kind of over Peppermint for the season.  So when I saw this bad boy, I knew I had to have it. 
Cinnamon?  Check.  Caramel?  Check.  I mean how can this not be good? 
Well oh my word, I had no idea how delicious this stuff was going to be!  Seriously, this stuff is life-changing good.
Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration.  :) 

I think it must be new because I have never seen it before and I have only seen it at Wal-Mart. 
Update:  I was checking out International Delight's website and apparently the ColdStone Creamery edtions are part of their "America's Favorite" line.  What?!?  Now I feel cheated that we are just getting this in the Midwest!
And look what else I found!!!
How could that not be delicous!?  Uh oh, now I am going to be obsessed trying to find it locally.
Like I said earlier, My name is Lauren and I love my coffee creamer.  :)
Since apparently all of my favorite things are food related (geez...), I thought I would share another favorite thing that isn't food related.  You're welcome  ;)

Normally I stick with the old standby of Bedtime wash by Johnson's but I felt like we needed something a little different this round.  Something with some extra moisturizers.

Bring in Vanilla Oatmeal for the win...

The scent smells so yummy and it does seem to help ward off the dry skin this winter.  I also think it smells a little less sweet than the Bedtime wash and I like that for Chase.
I can't wait to check out everyone's favorite things!  Oh and if you have the International Delight Coldstone Creamery creamers in stock in all your grocery stores, don't rub it in!  :) 
Thanks for hosting ladies!  Maybe next month my favorite things won't be food related.  Oh who am I kidding, I'm sure they will be. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Day for Love!

Matt and I have never been big celebrators of Valentine's Day - it is so close to his birthday that the celebration tends to get lumped in with his birthday.  That all changed when we had kids.  Now we make it a family celebration.  And I LOVE it!

Of course I had to scope out Pinterest for different ideas to celebrate and one of my favorites was placing hearts on each of the kid's bedroom door.  We did variations of "We love..." and "We love you because..."

And a close up view of a few...

Natalie was so excited when she woke up and saw her door!  She keeps asking to read over the hearts!  :)
For breakfast, I found a recipe for pink cinnamon rolls and thought they would be a perfect breakfast treat.  Unfortunately, they were a big Pinterest fail for me.  I have no idea what I did wrong (probably something with letting the dough rise too much or not rise enough) but my rolls looked totally different than the source when I rolled them up.  They did make the kitchen smell amazing though....silver lining.  :)
Next time I will be buying cinnamon rolls and adding food coloring to the icing!  Easier and a proven delicious treat! 

If you are brave and want to attempt the cake mix cinnamon rolls, check out the recipe here.
Natalie had her Valentine's party last week but I still wanted to share the Valentine's she gave to her friends.  She loves Frozen and hot chocolate so I was not surprised when picked this option out of all the ideas I showed her.  Of course, I think finding the heart shaped marshmallows sealed the deal!  :)
These were super easy to make in Microsoft Word - just a quick Google image search to find pictures and adding Wordart.  Just print, cut out and attach to the marshamallow baggie and hot chocolate.  Different and something she was very excited to show her friends.  Makes my heart smile!

Showing off her Valentine's...

Hard at work decorating her gift bag...

Smiling with a mouth full of yummy candy :)

 Another Valentine's outfit...
My other adorable Valentine.  He is such a ham sometimes!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!