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Family Holiday kids

Holiday Pajamas for Kids

December 18, 2017

christmas pajamas, holiday pajamas for kids, matching PJs

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids

Jack is a little skeptical of Braden’s affection.

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids

Kids in matching pajamas might be one of my favorite things ever. We had some family visit a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist getting some matching holiday PJs for Braden and his cousin Jack. They’re both at such a fun age right now where they can start to play together. Gifting matching holiday pajamas for siblings or cousins is a tradition I hope to continue!

Honestly, kids in matching clothing is sort of the best thing ever. I used to wonder why people did it all the time, but I get it now. I tried to get matching family pajamas for us this year, but Ben refused. I will have to be content with mommy and me outfits  for now.

I’ve linked a few more that are super cute and still available that you can get in time for Christmas! All the ones below I’ve linked are unisex and would look great on boys and girls (the ones I picked up for Braden and Jack are only available in one size, so snag them if you need a 3T. They’re from Old Navy, and they were really affordable!)

Red and green fair isle unisex PJs

Red and white bear fair isle PJs

Santa sleepwear

matching holiday pajamas, Christmas Pajamas for kids, toddler Pajamas

Gifts Holiday Shopping

Holiday Gift Guide: Monograms & Personalization

December 11, 2017

gifts for couples, gifts for friends, monogram giftsThe countdown is on! Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, so that means most online orders need to be put in this week to make standard shipping times. Eek! I try every year to not be a procrastinator, but here I am again, scouring the internet for gifts for family and friends. I love monogrammed or personalized gifts — maybe it’s the Southern girl in me — so I’ve curated a list of some of my favorite things this season. Some I already have like this necklace, which I wear several times a week, or this address stamp, which I included on a gift guide last year. These are all tried and true gifts perfect for friends and family! Happy shopping!

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Fashion + Style Gifts Holiday Shopping

Gift for the Guy in Your Life with JORD Watches

December 4, 2017
jord, wood watch, holiday gifts, mens watch

wood watch, JORD, mens watch, holiday gifts for men

wood watch, JORD, mens watch, holiday gifts fro men

mens watch, holiday gifts for men, wood watch, JORD

jord, mens watches, wood watch, holiday gifts for men

A nice watch has always been a go-to gift for the special guy in my life. I’ve given Ben one or two watches over the years, and three years ago, I gave him a really nice watch that he loved. But, when we moved into the new house in April, he misplaced it. After months of looking, he still can’t find it to this day, so I knew I wanted to get him a new one this holiday season.

Christmas came early for Ben this year when JORD reached out to see if I’d like to partner together for a holiday post. JORD makes sophisticated timepieces for everyone, specializing in handcrafted wood watches. If you know my husband, he is a Jack, or rather a Ben, of all trades. 🙂 He’s probably the most handy of all husbands and has visions of creating a woodshop in our garage. (He’s even made a few kids’ picnic tables that rival Pottery Barn Kids). So, to be able to gift him a watch that’s rustic yet refined and made from wood is totally in line with his taste and his personality.

JORD has a ton of styles available, and this particular style is called the Dover Black and Koa. I like how unique the face of the watch is and that  it’s made of natural koa wood versus the standard stainless steel watches you see on most guys.  Also, I love that you can personalize the watch, too, with custom engraving. For Ben, I made sure his little family is always with him and had our first initials placed on the inside of the watch. What a special way to commemorate an anniversary or a memorable date for your favorite guy!

Currently, JORD has free shipping going on for holiday orders. PLUS, I  have a 25% instant coupon you can use when you place an order! All you have to do is enter a here, and you’ll be emailed a special discount code. Definitely take advantage of that before Dec. 19 when it expires (and before Christmas sneaks up on us!)

Watch c/o JORD

This was brought to you in collaboration with JORD. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photos by Jason Fitzgerald Photography

fall family photo

A sneak peek of our fall family photos. You can see Ben’s already getting a ton of use out of his new watch! PC: Katie Hill Photography

Food Gifts Holiday

Gift Guide for your Foodie Friends

November 30, 2017
foodie gift picks, gifts for food lovers

We all have a friend who is in-the-know about the latest restaurant, loves to cook and is just an all-around lover of all things savory or sweet. I might be that person among my friends,  but I also have gals and guys in my life to talk shop with, so I’ve curated a list of gifts for favorite foodie friends in your life!

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A few notes on some of my favorites:

  • Give a little Texas to a friend who lives out of state with this Goode Company Pecan Pie! It ships really well and come on, who doesn’t love pecan pie?!
  • Graeter’s ice cream – if you haven’t had this, you NEED to try it. I will say, I didn’t know about it until it became a client of mine a few years ago, but now I know, and it is so, so good. It’s the No. 1 mail order ice cream, and I have gifted this to so many people who just love it. This is a super premium ice cream  made with in small batches using a French pot process. They only uses high quality ingredients…I could go on and on, because it was literally my job to tell people how awesome this ice cream is, but it truly is! They have their seasonal flavors right now, but definitely try the signature flavor of Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. They have dairy free sorbets and low glycemic options, and you can mix and match the flavors. This would make an excellent give to send to family when traveling to visit them and then partaking in a little of the gift when you get there. 🙂 Some flavors are also available in stores. I know Kroger in Houston carries it.
  • Penzeys Spices  – this is a local spice store that has a location in my old neighborhood and they sell everything online. Their spices are amazing and a good price point. I’ve gifted the baking set many times with a pie dish and the receivers have always been fans. 🙂
  • Two of my favorites magazines are Southern Living and Cooking Light. I love gifting magazines to friends because I feel like it’s the gift that keeps giving. It’s nice to get a new magazine every month and relax for a few minutes perusing the beautiful photos. Why I love Cooking Light is because it’s very approachable. My everyday way of cooking mimics Cooking Light  – fresh, healthy ingredients when possible and everything in moderation. I comb through each issue every month and am always trying a new recipe. Southern Living is very aspirational for me; I love Southern food, so I drool over most of the recipes in the magazine each month, occasionally make one, but mostly have intense cravings for  things like chicken and dumplings and fried okra that are often featured. I also love the decor and home posts in the magazine, and my home style definitely leans toward Southern traditional. I told our builder when we met that I wanted a Southern Living style porch on our house and it was one of the things Ben and I agreed on.  I was able to visit the Time Inc. studios earlier this year where all the work for these magazines are created each month. The test kitchens are jaw dropping and the food prop closet is UNREAL. Sort of a dream come true for a gal who has read these magazines for 15+ years!

 

I hope this gift guide was helpful. Check out my last one featuring gifts for the wine lover in your life. Happy shopping!

More soon,

LL

Gifts Holiday Shopping

Holiday Gift Guide: Wine Lovers

November 14, 2017
wine lovers, holiday gift guide

Giving a nice bottle of wine for a gift is pretty common, but there are so many more gifts for wine lovers out there. I have more than half the items on this list, so I can attest to their usefulness and/or quality. I want this item since we always have open bottles of wine sitting out on the counter when we have people over, and I’m paranoid we’ll leave a wine stain on our marble counters.

We used to always put wine in my little bike basket (or in the bottom of the stroller) and bike to a neighborhood BYOB restaurant when we lived in our old neighborhood. If you live in an area like this, I think this gift would be so fun!

Most of these gifts are a great price point, and some could double as a white elephant gifts, too. If you missed my last gift guide, which includes gift ideas for the kids, holiday lover, hostess and home decor lover, check it out here.

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Let me know if you’re a fan of any of these! Happy shopping and cheers! 🙂

LL

Family Holiday Home Design + Decor kids

Thanksgiving Kids’ Table & Tips for Entertaining Kids During the Holidays

November 10, 2017

I just love the holiday season, and Thanksgiving might be one of my favorite holidays because it’s a great time to get together to see family and friends. Because of the season of life we’re in, it means we are often accommodating to feeding and entertaining children who come over for these family and friendsgiving get-togethers. Eating is still hit or miss for us with a toddler, so keeping him occupied while food prep is happening is key. I love putting crayons and stickers out for the kids to get a little crafty with before they eat dinner!

In my head I’d like to think I can create amazing Pinterest-inspired tablescapes, but in reality, I’m barely getting by, so this Thanksgiving kids’ table setting is very accessible for anyone using some basic festive items you can get at Target or Amazon. Some of my decor like the chair backers and plates I picked up on sale from Pottery Barn Kids in previous years, but you can find pretty similar pieces out now like these backers and plates that are adorable. I found some other kids’ table decor items that are on sale like these platesbowlsplacemats and napkins.

I’ve included a few tips below for keeping the kiddos happy and occupied while the adults are mingling or doing food prep.

Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained during Thanksgiving

  • Crayons with built-in coloring placements are perfect for the kids’ table, and it also gives you the opportunity to talk to your kids about what they’re thankful for this season so you can write down those memories. I’m a sucker for my my kid’s homemade art, so having him color a place setting every year and seeing how they progress over the years is something I plan to do for the next few years. We are having our second annual Friendsgiving ( pot luck get-together with all my yummy holiday favorites) so I’ll probably use this tablecloth for a larger kids’ table.
  • These cute pumpkins are festive and are great way to bribe the kids to eat some veggies. These little jelly pumpkins are delicious, too.
  • Give them some things to keep them entertained after dinner, too. I’ve filled the chair backers with fall stickers, playdoh and bubbles, which are all some of Braden’s favorite things right now.
  • Make things personalized. I love the little place card settings, as it makes each child feel special and causes them to know they have specific spot claimed at the table which, in turn, might make them stay put for a little longer than usual. 🙂

I feel like I’m learning new tips all the time about being a mom and dealing with toddlers. If you have any secrets for making the holidays fun and stress-free for the whole family, I’d love to hear them!

thanksgiving kids table

 

pumpkin candy, thanksgiving kids table

thanksgiving kids table

chair backer, kids thanksgiving table, thanksgiving decorThis table and chairs are my husband’s from his childhood. He can remember eating at this table with his siblings during the holidays, and I just love that we have it now and Braden is using it everyday. I have dreams of B and his cousins eating together at this little table! We did repaint it to make it feel a little more modern.

thanksgiving decor, thanksgiving kids table

thanksgiving decor, thanksgiving kids table

 

 

 

Fashion + Style Holiday

Shades of grey to wear

February 7, 2017

I tend to gravitate toward grey items in my wardrobe.There’s an effortless quality about a soft shade of grey and it also goes from season to season making it versatile with other wardrobe staples like white denim. I have my eye on these items and most would make great Valentine’s Day gifts, too. Hint, hint. 🙂

I love the idea of wearing these grey earrings with an off the shoulder white top and white denim. And, you can’t have enough workout leggings.  I have a few pairs of high waisted Zella leggings that I run around all weekend in. Then there’s shoes: you just can never have too many!

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Food Holiday

Chocolate Fondue

January 31, 2017
valentines desserts

valentines day desserts

Fondue Valentines day

Chocolate valentines day dessert

 

fondue chocolate valentines dessert

fondue valentines day dessert

I tend to be a savory over sweet person, but I certainly have my moments. I LOVE chocolate, and I also love my little mini-me who seems to be all about dipping lately. He loves to dip food into sauces. Ketchup, hummus, honey — you name it and he’s got his sticky little fingers in it. If that makes him eat more, I’m happy to oblige. I also love creating little traditions for holidays and other special occasions. Making fondue just seemed like the perfect Valentine’s day treat to make at home this year now that Braden is 2.5. Last year, we had a special Valentine’s Day family breakfast on the weekend where we exchanged a small gift or two (lots of Vday books for B) and ate  heart shaped pancakes. This is something I hope to continue for years even when it probably becomes annoying and embarrassing for him!

We actually received this fondue pot as a wedding gift 11 years ago, but we’ve never used it. (Yes, I was a child bride.) I’m glad I kept it!  You actually don’t need a fondue pot for making fondue. I think it makes it easier for serving and dipping, but I actually made the fondue in a regular pot on the stove then poured  into the fondue pot.

What you need:

  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (10 oz. bag)  – I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate but dark chocolate or white chocolate chips would be work well, too. I just thought semi-sweet would be better for a toddler.
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream – I usually shy away from using heavy cream in any recipes but since this is a holiday indulgence I decided to go big.
  • 1/3 cup milk – I used organic 2% because that’s what B drinks, and I had it handy.
  • Dipping options:
    • I found these adorable heart-shaped marshmallows and festive sprinkles. The sprinkles make it fun for kiddos. Braden also loves to sprinkle things on food when we’re making meals. He loves being a part of the cooking/prep! I hope that sticks around for life. 🙂
    • Fruit cut up in bite-size pieces such as apples, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries
    • Angel food cake or brownies, rice krispie treats, etc. – my husband asked me where the angel food cake was when I was making this. :/ He has  a major sweet tooth. You can dip whatever your heart desires into chocolate but I tried to stick to fruit this occasion.
    • Suggestion: I think you could add a tsp of vanilla or hazelnut liquor to change up the flavor slightly. I’ve previously used Mexican vanilla and it was great.

Although I think Valentine’s Day is a bit of a manufactured holiday, I do love that it reminds us to take a moment to do something extra special for those we love. I prefer spending it at home rather than getting suckered into an inflated pre fixe restaurant dinner menu. And, I tend to have some pretty good wine at my house so that’s always a plus, too. 🙂

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions you love?

Holiday Shopping

Last-minute holiday gifts for everyone on your list

December 20, 2016

procrastinators-gift-guide-laureenlovesdotcom-12-20-16

Now is the time to get your money’s worth out of that Amazon Prime subscription! If you’re like me, you may have procrastinated a little too long when it comes to holiday shopping. I have been known to give people photographs of what I’ve purchased them if it doesn’t get there on time. It’s the thought that counts, right?! The past few weeks have been especially stressful for me, so I have not dedicated much time to gift buying and will be doing some last minute shopping this week. But, I’m saving myself the headache of going to too many places and getting what I can online.

I’ve compiled a list that has some great items that are perfect for mom, dad, siblings, friends and the kiddos. And, many of these items I own, so I can honestly say they’re not only practical but also good gifts. Plus, most of them can still make it here in time for Christmas. There are also some gifts that keep giving like a monthly Birchbox subscription or this book, which is one I’m using a ton lately now that I have a chatty toddler who just says the cutest things. 🙂

What are some other items that are great last minute gifts? I’m still on the hunt! Happy holiday shopping!

  1. Birchbox subscription: Some sweet friends gifted me a Birchbox subscription for my birthday one year, and I loved it immediately. It was a fun treat to get a new box in the mail every month full of makeup and beauty samples. Often, they’ll give you full-size samples, too. I’ve discovered some fabulous products I now use, too. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and there are several options such as 3-month, 6-month or 1 year options available for $10 per month.
  1. Elaine Turner wallet: I attended a fun event to kick off the new Elaine Turner fall line and received this wallet as a gift. It holds EVERYTHING and keeps me organized.  It’s pretty, too! Win, win.
  1. ET Wristlet: I love this snake print wristlet. This would be  a wonderful stocking stuffer. If you’re in Houston and can pop into an ET store, I’m sure you’ll find  even more gift items for family and friends. I love all the jewelry they have in the store!
  1. Custom stationary: I love customized stationary with my name or monogram. You can never have too much and Minted is my go-to for custom stationary and my holiday cards. I have used them for the past 5 years for all holiday cards and more.
  1. Crocodile Creek Rocket puzzle: My almost 2.5 year-old has graduated from the chunky wood puzzles we have and is now into these cute puzzles by a brand called Crocodile Creek. Braden loves these mini puzzles! He is challenged by them, but doesn’t get frustrated by the pieces and it’s pretty impressive to watch him think through where each piece goes. He can stay occupied for a long time with these, so they’re great to have on hand while you’re making dinner. He has 3 of them, and I’m sure I’ll be buying more.
  1. Amazon Echo: The echo  is like a mini-Alexa without big speakers. Think of it as an extra helper. 🙂
  1. Crocodile Creek Digger Puzzle
  2. Skinny Taste: Fast and Slow Knockout Quick-fix and Slowcooker Recipes: I love this cookbook! There are a lot of healthy versions of comfort food recipes that require very little prep.
  1. Shield Survival Multi-Tool: This would make a great stocking stuffer for any guy. It is basically 11 tools in one, including a beer opener. And, if you’re Mary Poppins and have everything in your purse, then get one for yourself or the gal in your life who likes to always be prepared.
  1. Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor: This cookbook was my first try at Skinnytaste recipes after following on Pinterest. I regularly make a lot of the recipes in this cookbook.
  1. My Quotable Kid: I received this as a gift at my baby shower and have just started using it. This book is an easy way to document the funny things kids say because there are SO many, especially at the toddler stage. Get this for the moms on your list!
  2. What to Eat Pad: I like to keep organized with my food shopping/meal prep lists and this is my go-to helper just for that.
  3. Knock Knock Pack this! Pad: Another list pad that helps when taking long trips. An ideal gift for your friend who loves to travel.
  4. Custom Address Stamp: I love custom stamps! I have a few of them, including one with the state of Texas on it. This Etsy shop, PaperPeachShop, has a lot of options. This would be a thoughtful gift for a new couple or friends who have recently purchased a new home.

 

 

 

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Fashion + Style Holiday Shopping

Black Friday Weekend Sales/Gift Guide for Her + the Kiddos

November 25, 2016

Gift Guide for Her + the Kiddos, Laureenloves.comWith all the carbs we’ve consumed the past 48 hours thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, there is not much energy left except to sit on the couch with my phone and laptop browsing the Black Friday sales. Online shopping is just the way to go. It’s so much more efficient, and there are tons of great sales for Black Friday weekend that just kicked off.

I’ve rounded out some of my favorite picks for her and the minis. I’ve also listed some great deals going on at some of my go-to stores. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy family and friends Christmas gifts without the hassle of going to the stores that are often picked over. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to treat yourself. 🙂 Happy shopping!

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Gap – 50% off everything through Nov. 26 at 11:59pm ET. Use code TGIF50 at checkout. Always a great place to stock up on everyday kids’ clothes. B has a whole pajama wardrobe from Gap Kids, and I love all their Christmas PJs.

Zara – 30% everything through Nov. 26 at 3am ET. I buy so many of Braden’s clothes here. I think they have the best boy clothes. I love how they have a good variety of cotton or twill pants that are perfect for pulling on really quickly —  a requirement for potty training, which we started recently.

Ann Taylor -50% off everything through Nov. 27 at 5pm ET. Use code CELEBRATE at checkout. I have shared my love for AT shoes here and here, but I get a lot of work clothes here, too.

Banana Republic – 50% off 5 regular-priced items with no exclusions until Nov. 26 at 11:59pm ET. Use BRFIVE at checkout.

Anthropologie – 30% off everything with code LETSGO. Perfect place to get tons of gifts for friends and family. I love all of their kitchen accessories.

Shopbop – 15% – 25% off depending on how much you spend through Nov. 28 at 11:59 PT. Use code GOBIG16

Pottery Barn Kids – 20% off and free shipping using the code OHWHATFUN through Nov. 28. For Braden’s second Christmas (he was 16 months) we got him a personalized workbench from PBK and it was the BEST toy we’ve ever purchased. He still plays with it all the time (he’s now 27 months) and it keeps him occupied while we’re cooking dinner, cleaning downtairs, etc. The one we have looks a little different, but the one I’ve showcased is pretty similar, and I love that you can get the name or monogram on it.

J.Crew – 40% off through Nov. 27 at 11:59pm ET. Use code HOLIDAY at checkout.

 

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