Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Instagrams

These are just a few of my favorite instagrams from 2012.  You can follow me along in 2013 here. (@laurenclay)  Happy New Years Eve everyone!

1. we like pizza...a lot  2. date  3. handsome  4. lazy  5. Colorado  6. goofballs  7. girlfriends  8. together  9. Idaho  10. beer drinkers  11. NY subway  12. brownstone love  13 & 14. brunch dates  15. Christmas gift  16. LOVE

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Personal Note About The Holidays

Holidays are always cheery and merry, right?  I don't know about you, but that's not so much the case for me.  As a child of divorce, holidays were always filled with mixed emotions.  If I was with my mom, I felt guilty about not being with my dad, and if I was with my dad, I felt guilty about not being with my mom.  And then I hated traveling back and forth and trying to please everyone.  It's hard and a tough situation for everyone involved even though I love my family very much.

This year is a little different.  It will be the first Christmas since my dad passed away this summer.  Although we had an estranged relationship for many years and the holidays were always difficult for me, the emotions are hitting me differently this year.  I can be fine and moving along just as normal one minute, and then BAM - sadness hits me.  Sadness followed by guilt.  Guilt of so many things that are/were out of my control. 

Most of the time I like to shove my feelings deep down so that I won't have to face them, but I've learned over the years that this is not the best line of defense.  I don't think there is anything wrong with feeling sad around the holidays, but I do think it's wrong to dwell in that.  Christmas is about so much more.  It's about hope.  Surely we can shift our focus off the things of this world and onto the precious gift of Jesus.  

It may seem so elementary, but I have to remind myself of that often.  I have to tell myself to not get so wrapped up in situations and feelings.  Christmas is a joyous time no matter what we have going on in our life.  It's a time to celebrate and rejoice.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

photo via here

Friday, December 14, 2012

Brows and Lashes

I have never been a big fan of makeup.  Don't get me wrong, I love it and wear it, but I'm more of a less is more kind of gal when it comes to the stuff.  First off, I'm not any good at applying it, and second off, it takes way too much time to apply all the different products and all the different layers needed to cover up those "misfortunes."  So, most of the time you'll see me in not much else than mascara, blush (that wears off after mid-day) and lipstick (that wears off after the first hour).  See, I was telling the truth, less is more!

One thing I am obsessed with are the eyes!  It's the main focus of your face, so if you're going to skimp out on the hours and hours of makeup it requires to look "photoshop" ready, don't skimp out on the eyes.  Brows and lashes, that's all you need.  (Say it with me - brows and lashes!) 

Lily Collins is a natural beauty, and she embodies my philosophy perfectly.  (Although, I'm sure she has a whole makeup team to apply her "full face" of natural makeup).  I would take those brows and lashes any day . . . and everyday!

via here

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Galore

As you know from this post, the crafty bug bit me this past weekend.  I wasn't able to finish my snow globes because the sick bug also bit me, ugh!  (Why do I always get hit with a sinus infection when I am the busiest?  Why!)  On the positive side, I have all my supplies and plan on finishing this weekend.  But now, I have even more crafts I want to add to the list.  I found these wreaths and garland by Amy Merrick and want to make them all.  Will I have time to let all my Martha Stewart-ness flow out before Christmas actually gets here?  Who knows, but you can bet, I'll try!

To me, the best thing about these wreaths is the simplicity.  When it comes to holiday decorating, I like clean lines and a simple design.  What's your Christmas style?  More is more, less is more, more is less or less is less?  (Who even knows what those last two even mean, just humor me.)

found via here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crafty Weekend

My DIY project this weekend is to re-create the adorable snow globes from Anthropologie.  Surely they can't be too hard, but we'll see.  I have been wanting them for quite some time, but can't bring myself to pay $40 when I could make them for $5.  I'll let you know if it's a success!

Is anyone else crafting this weekend?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winterize the Maxi

Who says the maxi skirt is just for summer?  This winter (or what we've had of winter so far) the maxi skirt has become one of my staples.  Throw on a sweatshirt with your pleated maxi and you're good to go.  Add some layers and boots to your printed maxi and you have the perfect "I'm with the band" look.  There's so many options to mix that maxi up, but the best part might just be . . .  the comfy factor!  And let me tell you that during the holiday season, that goes a long way.  Holiday party and skinny jeans do not turn out well.  (Trust me!)

And I must add that the '90s half tuck (referenced in both pics above) has been a long running staple in my wardrobe and works perfectly with sweaters in the winter!

Would you rock these looks?  I'm curious to see if I'm the only one.  You can see more of my winter style inspiration right here.

via here and here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Holiday Rue

A holiday issue of Rue?  Um, yes please!  I know what I'll be doing the rest of the morning.  Those lights are straight after my own heart!  I would have lights everywhere . . . if it weren't a fire hazard.

Just as a side note, one of my favorite times of the whole week is waking up on Saturday morning enjoying my breakfast and browsing pinterest, my fave blogs or online magazines.  It's pretty great and gives me that much needed downtime.  What are some of the highlights of your week?  Do share, so we all can join in!

And a little confession, we still don't have our tree up or any Christmas decorations.  I need to get on it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dan and Me

While we were at my parents' house for Thanksgiving, I had the brilliant idea to go out in the backyard and take some pictures.  (The hubby wasn't as willing as I was, but he obliged as any loving husband would.) 

Although most of the pictures (small sampling above) turned out goofy and odd quirky, they happen to be some of my faves!  (I would so use that first one as our Christmas card if the hubby would let me, but he's not as big of a fan as I am.) 

I love that it shows Daniel's goofy side.  (Don't let that gorgeous face fool you, he's a full fledged goofball 98% of the time!)  A lot of times I complain that he's "always joking around" and "not taking things seriously," but the truth is that I LOVE that he makes me laugh so much.  There's not much that can turn your bad day around like a good 'ole belly laugh with your best friend and love of your life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!"

Psalm 118:1 ESV

So much to be thankful for today and everyday.

image via here

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Who's ready for pie?

One day away from Thanksgiving, and one day away from pie!  I don't tend to eat it very much throughout the year, but once the holidays come around, I'm all in.  It's one of my faves, and I tend to get a little excited about it.  (Ok, a lot excited about it! One, no two, slices minimum.)

Doesn't this chocolate and hazelnut pie look delish from What Katie Ate?  Too bad I'm allergic to nuts, or I would be making this in a heartbeat.

On a more serious note, the holidays are about far more than food and pie.  I sometimes get wrapped up in all the details that I overlook the simple truth and point of the holidays.  (Does that ever happen to you?) 

I'm thankful for my faith, my family, my health, my friends and all my other blessings that are far too many to list here.  Hope you have a great Thanksgiving full of gratitude.

pie via here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Confession 010: Holiday Goodies

Holiday season is quickly approaching, and one of the first things my mind goes to are the goodies.  I tell myself that I will be "good" and only allow myself a couple of cheat days with a couple of treats.  But then as soon as the holiday cookies get busted out, I lose all self control.  A couple of days turns into everyday, and a couple of treats turns into every cookie in sight.

Why is it that just because a treat is a "holiday treat" it becomes even more desirable?  (This has to be a marketing scheme - has to!)  I find myself eating things that I don't even really like, but somehow can't turn down.  Can anyone else relate, or am I the only undisciplined one around here?

Time to start squeezing in the extra workouts.

via here and here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

West Elm and Alyson Fox

Does something ever just JUMP out at you and speak to you?  Well, it happens to me quite a bit - in a magazine, at a store, in a movie, on the street . . . you get the picture.  These pillows at West Elm did just that when I flipped through their latest catalog.  Then, when I read more about them online and found out they are from Alyson Fox (a Texan), it sealed the deal.  I must have these!

And who would've thought I'd be drawn to pastels?  It's a rarity, but I'm glad for it.

available at West Elm

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four Years

One.  Two.  Three.  Four.  
 Happy Anniversary to the love of my life and best friend!

engagement pics via kate mefford photography

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Moody with a Little Grunge

 gold details in the bathroom 

The mood is perfect for Halloween, right?  I really like the idea for this bathroom but would not want to get ready each morning with no counter space.  Let alone no mirror!  Let alone the hubby standing right next to me trying to get ready as well.  Tight quarters does not equal pleasant mornings.  (Trust me, I've learned this lesson from first-hand experience.) 

But I'd like to have it as the "extra" bathroom.  "Extra" meaning that you just get to go in and look at and enjoy the space, but not really use.  (Not the most practical idea I have, I know!)

via here 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

To Color or Not To Color?

It's getting a little chilly out, and I couldn't be happier.  I'm loving neutrals this season and am tempted to abandoned all color in favor of black, gray, white, cream and beige.  It's so chic and simple, and not to mention so European.  (And don't we all want to be European?  Or is that just me?)  

But then again, I just don't know.  I still love the colorful coat and how it pulls an outfit together.  That extra pop of color can be just as chic and simple.  Help!  What is a girl to do this Fall?

via here

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When did we grow up?


My best friend had her first little last week (Lyla, you are so precious) and it got me thinking - when in the world did we grow up?  When did we become adults?  When did we stop being awkward little middle schoolers or know-it-all high schoolers?  

A lot of my friends are now married, beginning their careers and starting a family.  Yikes!  It's scary to think that I am an adult when I still feel like a kid.  

What happened to the days when we would go to school, go to after school practice, come home to eat dinner, maybe do a little homework and then start it all over again the next day, only to get us to the weekend to hang out with friends?  (I guess we were living for the weekend just the same back then, except now those weeks don't seem nearly as rough as these weeks!)

But, I guess there's not a lot we can do but go forth with life.  We are going to grow up.  We are going to feel "old" when we find out our new friend who we have so much in common with was born in 1992!  Ekk!  We can't change it, so we might as well embrace it.  

And I bet to many - we are still young!  There's still a lot of life to be done!

via here

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Outfit Planning

We are entering into full Fall weather around here, and I am so pumped to start wearing sweaters, layers and boots non-stop.  My staples so far are Navajo sweaters (or any other quirky pattern), button ups, ankle pants and my Petty boots.  I will try to switch it up now and then, but I can't promise that my outfits will change much from above.

What will you be wearing this Fall?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In The City part 2

So here they are - finally!  The last of my NYC pics.  It seems like my favorites are brownstones and breakfast each morning.  (It was my favorite time of the day for 2 reasons.  1) I was gearing myself up for all we were about to do and 2) the hubby and I rarely ever have a leisurely breakfast together here at home, so it was nice to enjoy that time together.)

I wanted to take pictures upon pictures so I could remember and enjoy everything afterwards, but it turns out that it's better (WAY better) to just enjoy everything in REAL time.  (And I didn't want to be one of THOSE tourists!  You know what I mean?) 

Sometimes I get so caught up in what's next and what needs to be done that I don't get to experience the moment to the fullest.  (Do you ever struggle with that?)  And that's why I love taking trips with just the hubby and me - we don't plan a lot, and we just go out and enjoy the experience.  Perfect vacation in my book! 

(And a really cute travel buddy!)