Merry Christmas from Florida!

I am so excited to spend Christmas at home in Florida with my family, and have my boyfriend visit my home for the first time. Christmas in Florida is different than anywhere else in the world-- instead of snowman building, we build sand castles.. we put lights on our palm trees, and it's not unusual to spend Christmas Eve watching the sunset at the beach.

It's not a snowy white traditional Christmas, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I am so in love with these vintage Florida Christmas portraits from the Florida State Archives.  It perfectly evokes a classic coastal Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all!

xoxo, lauren

How to: Look Cute in Cold Weather

Today I experienced my first snow storm ever. Growing up in Florida i'm not versed in snowman building, shoveling, or winter dressing. So, it's been a whole new experience for me! The power went out for long periods of time, but I still managed to enjoy my first snow day!

enjoy hot apple cider at the local bar (the only place open within walking distance!)

I always see lot of stylish winter fashion inspiration, but rarely any for the really cold weather that we get in the Midwest and other parts of the country. So i've pulled together some of the pieces I think are essential to looking stylish in really cold weather and snow (it is possible)! I actually worked in outerwear merchandising for a year so I have some great background on the subject!

How to: Look Cute in Really Cold Weather
the essentials:
  • lightweight down jacket: these packable pieces, are great for layering and stowing away in a bag, but also offering maximum warmth while still lightweight.
  • cute boot socks: will keep tootsies warm & toasty in the snow or indoors
  • fur lined parka: these military style parkas are super warm, but stylish too with fur trim hoods and olive green
  • waterproof boots: these sorel snow boots were the best investment I made when I moved to the frozen tundra, they keep feet warm & dry, and are actually stylish too
  • down coat: when I first moved here, I insisted I would never buy a puffy down coat, but they are seriously the warmest thing you can wear- and you can find some flattering feminine fits
  • fleece lined tights: cold wind cuts through regular tights and leaves you freezing when you're wearing dresses & skirts, a fleece lined pair will keep you from shivering all night!
  • warm & toasty boots: everyone loves ugg boots because they keep feet so warm, but I hate wearing the same thing as everyone else-- these boots are a great update
  • chic knit hat: an accessory that is functional too, for keeping your ears warm!
  • colorful ski jacket: a ski jacket is a colorful layering piece on or off the slopes. choose a style that is "fully seam sealed" which means it is 100% waterproof, essential for wet snow
I've also pinned some of my favorite snowy weather appropriate looks from these stylish ladies

It's definitely all about layering when it comes to looking cute in cold weather! What are your essentials to staying warm, but looking stylish?

xoxo, lauren

Carmen Creation

Tulle and feather skirts poke out of the entrance to Carmen Creation, a family-owned boutique specializing in handmade Victorian-inspired dresses for women and girls. It's impossible to miss the store at 321 1/2 Olympic Blvd., as onlookers constantly "ooh" an "ahh" while passing by Carmen's creations. Carmen has been sewing Victorian couture dresses and accessories for over 24 years. Each gown is one-of-a-kind, and often times custom made to order. Every aspect of the design and manufacturing process is directly overseen by Carmen herself; she picks every fabric and applique used in each design. In fact, most of the fabrics used are hand-dyed, and detailing is so important in the creation of each piece that on average a dress takes an entire day to make.

Carmen specializes in flower girl, Christening, and QuinceaƱera gowns. Wedding gowns are available for custom order, as are First Communion dresses and costumes for plays and theater  productions. Carmen's costume work  has been featured on shows such as So you think you can dance? and American Idol. She's also dressed A-list celebrities, the likes of Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez!

A self-taught seamstress and designer, Carmen began her career in interior design creating Victorian inspired home accessories. However, creating art has always been a passion of hers. As a child in Mexico, she taught herself ceramics and has been creating ever since. We don't think she's ever looked back.

What we love about Carmen is not just the obvious passion she has for her craft, but the love she sews into every piece. Every one of her dresses tells a story. Whether it be a fairy tale, a love story, or the simple beauty of a new beginning, she has the perfect dress for every special occasion.

Carmen Creation
321 1/2 Olympic Blvd.


The abundance of all the most pleasantly moments in the whole year is exactly at this time of the year. All the snow outside makes me happy and fancy like a child. I have always been a big dreamer, so this Christmas atmosphere makes me even more nostalgic. I think there is nothing more special in the humans life than the moment when your dream comes true. Even if you think that your dream is absolutely ridiculous, never stop dreaming and one day you may realize that your fear to pursue your dream was actually the most ridiculous think. So, I urge you at least at this magic time of the year to really enjoy your life, left behind all your problems, stop fussing, close your eyes and just dream...


Snapshots of the Holidays, LPF Style

I seriously cannot believe that it is only a short week or so until Christmas. I am anxiously awaiting to go home for the holidays (it's been an entire year!). My holidays have been filled with holiday parties (I love an excuse for over-the-top holiday attire), wreath making, baking (failed attempts at caramels), & even a little bit of snow (and more projected for this week!)

I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from my favorite time of year!

buffalo plaid & pearls for a christmas party

a snow day in Wisconsin

the most wonderful time of the year

cutting branches for homemade wreaths

my florida ornaments

small town wisconsin downtown decorated for Christmas

faux fur & wool sweater 

my DIY wreath made with help from my boyfriend's mom

pink pants & down coat for a snowy day

extra large coffee to get me through the work week

If you're still scrambling for gifts like I am, check out some of my gift guides:
Gift Guide for the Trendsetter // Gift Guide for the Social Media Maven // Gift Guide for the Guys

What are you doing to celebrate the holidays? After all the tragedy this past week, all I really care about is spending time with the ones I love.

xoxo, lauren

Holiday Link Love

Happy Friday everyone! I am in full fledged holiday spirit mode -- from nighttime Christmas light drives to eggnog fro yo eating, and tartan wearing. I wanted to round up some of my favorite holiday posts from around the blogosphere to share in the Christmas cheer!

holiday link love

Sweet Treats:
EVENTS UNCORKED: Nutella Crinkle Cookies
CHOCOLATE COVERED KATIE: Healthy Cookie Dough Peppermint Ice Cream
BRIT+CO:  Eggnog Pudding Shots

Feeling Festive
PAMPLEMOUSSE: Christmas Music Mix 
SOUTHERN VOGUE: Oh-So-Festive Christmas Party
THE GLITTER GUIDE: Holiday Home Tour w/ Emily Henderson
BEAUTY & THE BEARD: 8 Ways to Wrap with Kraft Paper
CAMILLE STYLES: Creating an Organic Holiday Bouquet

Holiday Style
INHEIRITED JEANS: Sparkly Holiday Looks
THE BRUNETTE ONE:  Faux Fur & Sparkle

Gorgeous Gifts
HOLLYWOULD BLVD: Gift Guide for the Fashionista
KELLY MARKET: Gift Guide for the Globetrotter

Send me links to your own holiday blog posts- i'll be retweeting them all week!

xoxo, lauren

Holiday Sample Sales - 12.14.2012

It's our second to last holiday sample sale of the season, and just in time to get your last minute Christmas shopping done! One of our biggest sales this week is the first ever Wildfox Warehouse Sale. We also have tons of sales going on in the The New Mart building. You can see their full sample sale listing here. The California Market Center is having their building-wide sample sale and offering $6 parking for sample sale shoppers.

Don't forget to bring your own bag! For more tips on how to shop sample sales, click right over here. And check out some of our favorite sales below. Happy shopping!