The World’s Worst Unboxing Video

Editor’s Note: I’ve never, ever, ever, done a video before. Mostly because I’m 99% sure I’m 99% less witty that when I write. But there’s a reason people do unboxing videos – taking photos and typing it up was WAY too complicated.

I briefly considered waiting to do this video until I had makeup done, hair done, cute clothes on. But that + having the actual time to record it would pretty much never happen. So instead I chose to record it after putting to bed a toddler with a stomach virus (hey, at least he went to bed early!) and put my shiny, COMPLETELY makeup-free face in front of the camera, in two-day old hair and a pajama shirt.

Because I keep it real. (Sob.)

Also, for the record, here is my referral link: http://xo.fff.me/f6nC3

PS – OCD people? That one errant strand of hair outside my messy bun? YOU’RE WELCOME. (Seriously, though, maybe don’t even watch this.)

Finally, here is a picture of the entire box, in case you wanted a better look:

PPS – This was the ORIGINAL unboxing video I saw that inspired the impulse buy to begin with. (Click through to Facebook) I would have killed for some nude lipgloss, Debra Lipman nail polish, and that cool tablecloth thing.

Witchy Woman: Art Imitates Artist on American Horror Story, Coven

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Ever since I saw The September Issue, a documentary chronicling American Vogue magazine’s arduous journey to print on its biggest issue of the year, I’ve felt creative director Grace Coddington was:

1. Just about the coolest person around
2. The brains behind the whole operation (although I suppose that’s debatable since Anna Wintour seems an all-consuming persona)
3. The uncontested heart behind the whole operation (no arguments there)

Which is why, despite its rather slow-paced plot line, season three of American Horror Story (Coven) quickly became my favorite once Myrtle Snow quite literally rose from the ashes to become the fashion-forward embodiment of Grace herself.

Observe:

Each sits on a high-powered council:

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Signature voluminous “I don’t give a damn” red hair and sassy-smart expression:

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General supernatural wardrobe staples:

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And of course, there’s the parallel with the lifelong frenemy sidekick – Jessica Lange (aka  Fiona Goode) puts up one hellofa fight for the role of playing Anna Wintour to Frances Conroy’s (aka Myrtle’s) Grace Coddington.

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Also, did I mention the numerous Stevie Nicks appearances on the show? What’s not to love. Girl. Power.

Best of: Free Printable 2014 Calendars

After falling hopelessly in love with this Rifle Paper Co. wall calendar (and spending the money) I did a little research and found that there are quite a few beautiful, totally free printable calendars out there for the taking.

So, buy a little pack of card stock, use that special tray on your printer, and check these lovelies out:

From Oh the lovely things:

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From Elegance and Enchantment:

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From Design is Yay!:

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From eat drink CHIC:

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Personality Quirks

I have a number of them. And the odd part is, most of them are at odds with each other. Like the fact that I am an introvert whose job is to make friends and cold calls and meet people (and I kinda sorta really like it). Or how I’m a neat freak that still never, ever, EVER makes her bed, waits several hours to do dishes after a meal, and loses her cell phone at least seven times a day.

Or my extreme cheapskateness. (Notice those words are not capitalized, because I still have not reached full TLC-special status.) However, nothing excites me more than the prospect of getting a deal. Free samples are my opiate, and I am a total hoarder.
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Except that when I am visiting places to get those deals (aka, TJ Maxx, one of my favorite places to shop) I have this terrible little habit of falling in love with THE most expensive thing within grasp (physical, not financial). Case in point –

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Seriously? When was the last time you saw $359 Fendi shoes in the CLEARANCE shoe section at TJ Maxx? Talk about a red herring. Or blue suede herring, as it were.

Then there’s the juxtaposition of my Gloria Steinem-loving feminist self, who even at the overripe age of 28, almost bought history’s most profitable sexist, body-image-destroying toy because Barbie (particularly brunette Barbie/Midge) will always have a special place in my heart, and she looks awesome as retro Catwoman.

But don’t get me started on pink and purple Lego’s for girls. (Go women engineers!)

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Then of course there’s my creepy obsession with small dogs, in contrast to my moderate dislike/mostly apathy towards small children.

(This picture always cracks me up because to me it looks like they are flying in formation while napping…)

IMG_5562Sometimes I wonder if having these opposite and competing aspects of personality makes me/us/the proverbial “we” a more well-rounded person, or just completely nuts.

Lauren’s Favorite Things

Well, I’m still a little behind on the blogging, so this post just went from a “last-minute shopping suggestions” to a “cure the post-holiday blues with inexpensive gifts to yourself” theme.

(Like how I spun that? PR, FTW.)

Anyhow, these are a few of my favorite things (that I may or may not have bought myself whilst shopping for others).

1. LC Lauren Conrad jewelry at Kohl’s – (top middle two images are of a bracelet and double earring set I bought myself)

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2. Super, super soft pajama pants from JC Penney.

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3. Beautiful wall and desk calendars from Paper Source.

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Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year

Today, Pantone announced the 2014 color of the year will be “Radiant Orchid.” Which is a color I’ve been obsessed with for precisely 237 days, or since April 12, 2013. And just happened to be wearing today (shirt below).

I am always ahead of trends.

ALWAYS.

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Do you think this color is hot right now? Up and coming? So yesterday? Do you even LIKE the color? I feel like their selection of Emerald for 2013 was welcomed (I love emerald) but off-trend. Mint green would have been a more appropriate (accurate) choice.

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Catching Mono, Part 2

DSC_0445Lately, I’ve become self-obsessed.

Okay, that’s a lie.

I’ve always been self-obsessed. I write a blog about myself for heaven’s sake. I recognize disfunction in myself. But that’s beside the point.

Lately, I’ve become self-obsessed I’ve become obsessed with getting my name professionally added to things I own. Above is my growing little collection of goodies.

Below is my growing little collection of customization and monogramming resources:

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From L to R: Embroidered Hoop, Cufflinks, Rubber Stamp, Embroidered Hoop Necklaces, Nameplate Bracelet, Travel Bag, Mousepad, Clutch, May Designs Notebook.

phonesiPhone cases from Lucy Celebrates

Va-Va-Vintage!

The Junior League has recently hinted that this Spring there will be a big event that will necessitate the wearing of some vintage.

So of course this announcement was proceeded by several late-night hours scouring Etsy for something delicious and reasonably priced.

Here’s a small collection of the dresses I think put the va-va-voom in vintage!

Daytime:

1960s Vera Neumann floral

il_570xN.482292968_aelzLichtenstein-esque patterned early 90s cotton frockil_570xN.503350505_1sdf

1960s geometric knit dress (would be GREAT with a belt)

il_570xN.461367332_fereSilk DVF bubble dress (in a size 0)

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1950s striped chiffon party dress

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Evening wear:

1950s copper tulle princess dress

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1960s Austin Powers twist on the LBD

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My absolute favorite at a heartbreaking price in a bulimia-inducing size. (Seriously, what human with a rib cage has a 25” waist and 34” bust?)

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“Bookish”

Sometimes I wonder why Kate Spade just doesn’t call it what it really is. Because their new “Bookish” collection is really just the “Lauren” collection.

Get out of my head, Ms. Spade!

A delicious sampling of my favorites:

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The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but the road to financial ruin is paved with Kate Spade accessories and traversed in exceptionally stylish footwear.

Four Eyes

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Just saw this picture on Pinterest today, but I took the photo of myself almost two months ago. Yep, me and John, we’re totally soulmates. 😉

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Then again, I also took this picture…

TANGENT.

The reason for this post that I’m slowly getting to is that I’ve had my new fancy glasses from Rivet & Sway for over a month now, I’ve just been waiting for a day when I actually showered, fixed my hair, had makeup on, AND time to take pictures.

Apparently, during no point in the last 30 did I have a day where I lived up to all 4 standards. (Pathetic? Maybe.)

So, settling for 3 out of the 4 (who needs makeup anyway) here are my long, long, long overdue photos from my adventure with Rivet’s 3 sample pairs and my final decision.

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SUPER cute branding and packaging!

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In The Spirit

Aaron told me we need to decorate more for the holidays.  It was odd coming from a man, but I didn’t ask any questions. Instead, I picked up these lovelies on my last trip to Walmart, and was pleasantly surprised by what they had. I bought everything below (except the red candle) for under $30 total.

Not too shabby for a little fall indoors (meanwhile it’s still blazing summer outdoors).IMG_6651 IMG_6652-magic IMG_6655 IMG_6660-Diana

One Dress, Four Ways

Decisions, decisions.

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I’m going to a very good friend’s wedding this weekend, which of course means I’m having a wardrobe/packing crisis. Problem is I really want to wear my blingy blue suede shoes since there never seems to be an occasion for them, but I also want to wear my blingy new necklace I got for my birthday. But I don’t want to be THAT blingy, since ya know, I want to be respectful of the fact that this is someone else’s day.

Your mission, if you choose accept it: Pick one of the four options below.

Dress in question:

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Ways to accessorize:

(click image to enlarge)

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Leave the number listed next to your favorite options in the comments below.

Ready, set, go!

Who needs a rib cage anyway?

So I fell in love.

With a dress. On Fab.com. That looks like this.

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Only, it was only available in a size 8 (and I’m pushing size 12 these days) but I thought hey, maybe I can actually stick to my diet and everything will be okay, because this dress is definitely worth it.

Well, today it came in the mail, and when I attempted to try it on, the waist area wouldn’t even clear my shoulders. Now, I knew it would be a little small, but this was like contortion I-should-be-employed-by-Circ-de-Soleil small.

So I went to the website and made this heartbreaking discovery:

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Damn. You. Europeans.

UPDATE: Found it on this European website, and ordered it in a Euro size 14. Paid in Euros too, so I really hope I don’t regret ordering internationally. We’ll see if I’m cursing Europeans again soon…

$10 worth of free Christmas Magic

I have a little wonderful secret place where I buy 90% of my Christmas presents (at about 70% off retail). And right now I am outing myself because for every friend that signs up for an account, I get $10 spending money (which I would love to use towards said Christmas presents). The even better news? If you decide to be one of those friends, YOU get a $10 gift card too!

So where are you going right now to sign up? SierraTradingPost.com, using this link: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/invite~3449859/Elle-7/

To further entice you, here are a few delightful little things worthy of any Christmas wish list, from their website:

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And here are some things I’ve already bought for myself that get five stars:

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Finally, a VERY VERY VERY important note about shopping this website:

When you sign up for an account, you’ll get “Deal Flyer” emails advertising sales. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS click through from your Deal Flyer to the website to shop the sale. If you just go directly to the website, the coupon will not be added to your purchase price.

Example:

Typing SierraTradingPost.com in your browser and shopping:

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Clicking from your Deal Flyer email:

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And here’s what to look for so you know it’s working as you’re shopping:

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Happy hunting!