Category Archives: Personal

Happy Birthday to my MOM!!

Ok…this is a month and a half late, but…better late than never, right?!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

I asked my mom if she wanted to to get manicures, or have some pictures with me and Maya…

She picked pictures-birds of a feather and all that haha 🙂

Looooooove this next one!! I mean….SO CUTE, right?!But this next one!!!!

Loooooove!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

We are sooooooo lucky to have you in our lives, and I am so thankful for the relationship that Maya has with both you and dad.

We love you!!

*******

No links on this post, sorry!  No time, and I really just wanted to post it!  If you have any questions, just let me know!

Keeping it real…

I actually looked back (thank you text messages!!), and the afternoon went like this…

I worked while Maya was at school.

I literally texted my mom at 2:00 to ask if she wanted to take a few quick pics for her bday.  The only thing was that we needed to leave by 3:00 to get to Maya’s gymnastics class.

All that said.   In it’s entirety, this shoot was 10 minutes.  And, to be real…Maya wasn’t really into it at first-such is life…

I’m sooooo thankful to have captured these images of us!!!  To be honest….we left-rushed and wondering…

“Did we get ANYTHING?!!”  haha.

(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod)

dit-elle-Lauren

Staying fit over the holidays…

I’ve been wanting to do a post about this for so long…

Honestly, fitness and exercise is more of our daily life than anything else we post about!  BUT…in my mind, I wondered who wants to read about that?  Um…Ok,  A LOT OF PEOPLE!

So, I thought I’d tell how I stay fit.  As a mom… As someone who is 40 and beyond… It’s different now, but I’ll try and share universal thoughts.

It’s also super important for me that some form of exercise is part of Maya’s daily life too, so…my number one tip?

  1. Get outside and be active with your kids!  They need it and love it, and you are having quality time with them while keeping you both healthy!  Go for a long walk around your neighborhood.  If you live near any hiking places, go hiking (a post from a hike we did a while back coming soon!).  Even in the colder rainy temps, layer up!  I have this set for Maya, and we layer it under everything.  If she gets too hot, we just peel the layers off!  Lately, it’s been HER pushing me to run more!  She will say “C’mon mom!!  You can go faster than that!  You can do it!!  (Video Here :))
  2. Make a date with a friend or family incorporating exercise instead of food!  This is good for a couple of reasons.  If it’s raining or cold, it’s easier to just want to curl up with a book, but if you have someone counting on you to meet them, you are more likely to get out there.  Instead of meeting for drinks/dinner.  Meet a friend for a walk or run!  Don’t get me wrong.  I want to get out there and have some drinks with my friends, BUT…it can add up both monetarily and calorically. And, honestly, most of the time I don’t want to take away from family time at night.  I have friend that I’ve been meeting every Monday for a 3 mile walk through the hills of our neighborhood.  We get exercise, but we also get to have some weekly quality time together and uninterrupted conversations-double win!  I know that isn’t a possibilty for moms that work 9-5 jobs, but you could make it a Sat or Sun morning date!  Maya and I also meet up with my parents every Sunday morning for a walk.  Lately, Maya has been running more, so we don’t get as much quality time with them, but it’s still better than nothing!  If you have kids, working out with your spouse can be harder, but you could absolutely make it a family affair!  With a stroller or once they are able…bikes!
  3. Join a class.  Can you tell I find the easiest way to hold myself accountable is using others-haha?  There is an outdoor bootcamp that I do through my local YMCA (more on THEM later!!) . I’ve made some good friends just from going there every week, and it’s SO nice having someone else forcing me to do things I’d never do on my own!  And there are SO many classes offered at your local gyms!
  4. Find an App you like!  There are so many apps out there for exercise!  One of the things I’ve found challenging about some apps is that I have to stop what I’m doing to look at what they are doing next.  OR…in reality, my eyesight is so bad that I have to have it in my face to see what they are doing.  It’s great once I get the routine down, but not so great for new exercises.  One app Aaptiv talks to you and plays customized music tailored to your tastes!  They have programs for running, treadmill, elliptical, Indoor Cycling, Stair Climber, Strength Training, Stretching, Yoga, Walking, Meditation (I’ve SO been meaning to try this!!), Race Training, and more!  It’s great if you only have a few minutes at home or aren’t able to meet someone else or make a class at the gym, because you can do a lot of the things outdoors or at home!  AND…they have a 30 day free trial!
  5. Join a gym with good daycare-find a YMCA if you have one near you!  Ok, this might sound obvious, and it is.  BUT…when you are a mom, finding a gym with good child care is absolutely the difference between going and not going sometimes.  I honestly should work for the YMCA, because I am one of it’s biggest supporters and tell every mom and dad I know to join-most do!   The salesperson in me hasn’t died ha!  Sadly, I don’t get paid for referrals, but I’m SO happy to give my friends happiness, and the YMCA is hands down been a life saver to my sanity and health.  The YMCA is SO catered to making sure your kids have fun, and if they are running around having fun/getting exercise, that means you can work out and TAKE A SHOWER guilt free!!  They have so many fun programs for kids and adults!  One thing you can do together is swim.  Maya and I go swimming every Sunday.  I tell her we have to stay in the deep end, which means she swims the entire time, and I have to tread water or swim the entire time.  Again…double win!
  6. Get a Kindle or listen to an audio book.  I used to not be able to work out without music, and I’m still a firm believer that it gives you a certain adrenaline boost that undoubtedly helps while working out.  However…I recently started reading while doing the elliptical, and it’s been a GAME CHANGER for me!  I LOVE to read, but once I had Maya I “never had time” . I felt too guilty sitting on the couch reading, so I was lucky if I read for 15 min at night before bed.  Now, I take my Kindle to the gym (or you can do the Kindle app on your phone if your eyesight allows ha!), and I’m reading again!  It’s such a nice escape!  Sometimes I’ll stay on extra long or go sit on the bike after if I’m at a good part in my book!  I’m sure the same would apply to audio books, but I just haven’t tried them yet.  Audio books would be GREAT for outdoor running or walking!
  7. Buy some cute/weather appropriate workout clothing.  Ok.  I know that the cute part might sound silly, BUT…whatever!  When I have cute work out gear, I feel better!  Oh, and if it’s flattering and sucks you in….EVEN BETTER!  It might sound gross to some, but I still buy all my work out gear at thrift stores or eBay.  Wash it on “sanitize” mode, and get over it!!  You get it at a fraction of the cost, and you feel and look great!  I get Lululemon pants for sometimes less than $10!  My average is less than $20!  Average for a jacket is $25!  And let’s be honest…there’s some CUTE workout gear out there now!!  SO…if you happen to wear it all day (I mean…I miiiiiiiight on occasion! ;)) you still feel cute!  Same for kids!  I said before, but I get Maya North Face jackets all the time for less than $10, and on eBay, I’ve been scoring her Ivviva (Lululemon’s kids line) for $10 or less.

I can add to this later, but would love to hear ideas that you have for staying fit!

On me…

Top- Lululemon (thrited for $14, similar here)
Pants- Lululemon “In the Flow” ($15 on eBay, similar here)
Shoes- New Balance “Fresh Foam Zante” (purchased through Joe’s New Balance)
On Maya…
Jacket- Ivivva “Live to Move” ($8 on eBay, but similar here)
Pants- Ivviva “Rythmic Crop” ($10 eBay)
Shoes- New Balance (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
It should first be noted that we took these pictures AFTER our actual morning walk.
Had I taken a shower…nope.
I’d always imagined I’d take these pictures with a perfectly curled pony tail, and I wouldn’t be in the midsts of my stress eating/drinking super busy work time, but…let’s be real.
SO…I put on a pair of Lululemon compression leggings.  Which they don’t seem to offer anymore??!!!  TRAGEDY!  Do yourself a favor and eBay “In the Flow” and BUY A PAIR!  They look so bizarre not on, but they are AMAZING!  High rise to suck you in all over!
Um, never mind.  This is just me normal…
😉
So….while we do go for walks/runs every Sunday, I don’t bring my camera!  I take lots of iPhone pics of our walks usually documented in our Instagram Stories!  The other day we went BACK out after our walk and just grabbed a few pics with the tripod (shown above).
Here’s a hilarious video of the timer going off surprising us, and us just running back and forth hoping to get a shot or two haha.  It should be noted that it was warmer in the morning when we took our walk, and then went down to 45 degrees later when we took these.  SO…it was a get it in one try shoot!  And…I love the shots we got!!  Honestly, we are usually running and laughing anyways, so it’s a totally true depiction!
Here’s us turning around for another go!  Not even remotely in focus, because I had set the focus point way ahead of this, but…who cares!  I love it!
Here’s a few iPhone pics from the past few Sunday’s walks.
She literally says all the time that she wants to start a dog walking business.  She literally stops for every dog “Can I pet your dog?”  FYI…this is not our dog!
haha!  We meet a lot of nice people… 🙂
Oh, and btw, this is the jacket Maya was wearing above.  It was the same day, but the jacket is reversible!
When the tide is out, we go down and play on the beach.
FYI, North Face Jacket, Ivviva Pants, and Puma Sneakers all thrifted… Another compelling reason to get outside…this view!
Oh, and she’s wearing the 32 degree top here AND a REVERSIBLE Patagonia down jacket that was….$2.50!!!  WHAAAAAT?!  It had some stains, but a night in Oxyclean, and one side is now stain free!   The other side has a stain under an arm!
Even in the rain.  REI rain jacket…less than $5 at the thriftstore!  Sadlly…the shoes aren’t waterproof, but also thrifted, so…
And yes, she usually brings along a toy, and YES, she rain with this!!
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Happy Halloween!! (2017)

There’s a dragon on the loose!! I honestly felt bad that I didn’t do more of a DIY costume this year, but Maya saw this mask and tail at Goodwill, and it was game over.

Honestly, I didn’t have time to make anything this year, so in a way I was relieved.  Last year’s DIY costume (OMG, is it possible that I didn’t BLOG IT?!!) was super fun, but wow…time consuming and a bit stressful.  Houston took her over to my In Laws early so they could see her in her costume.  Probably the only actual people to see her since she will be wearing a super warm jacket tonight! Every Part of her costume was thrifted.

On Maya…
Leotard- Bloch (thrifted)
Skirt- Hanna Andersson  (thrifted)
Sequined Leggings- A Children’s Place
Boots- Timberland

Mask , Tail, and Wings- Goodwill

 

 

Maya’s officially a Kindergartener…

Maya officially started Kindergarten this past Monday, and if I’m honest…it’s been a bit of an adjustment…for both of us.  We’ve both been used to spending A LOT of time together these past (well, almost 6 years!)

Her school starts at 7:45, so gone are our mornings of leisurely cuddling on the couch for 30 minutes as we wake up.  Ok, I wake up.  She wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed from the start!

She’s always been the kid to just jump right into any new situation with a smile on her face and an energetic “Bye mom!!”

Even on her first day of preschool at under 3…much to my teary eyed surprise!

She’s always been so concerned about the kids who cry, and always used to go up and ask if they were ok.

Her first day started off great!  She was excited yet a little nervous.  When we got to the playground, it was a crazy zoo!  She walked right up to two girls she didn’t know and asked what their names were.  She asked if they were going into Kindergarten, and when they said they were she goes… “Oh!  It’s like we’re twins!!  We’re ALL going into KINDERGARTEN!!” haha.  So sweet… When it was time to go in, they let us walk them to their rooms.  We found her cubby, found her name on a table, and she plopped right down and started coloring in her name balloon.  When it was time to go- “Bye mom!”

Tuesday was a little sketchier.  On the way to school, she said.  “I don’t really want to go back.  I don’t get to do anything I want, and I really just want to hang out with you!”

Well…this past Wednesday was rough.  It was the 1st day they wanted us to NOT walk them in.  We were supposed to say our good byes at the line up on the playground.  She started bawling when it was her classes turn to go in.  She wouldn’t let go of me and said that she didn’t want me to leave.  That she just wanted to hang out with me all day.   I ended up walking her to her door, where to teacher literally had to pull her off of me.  Ugh, I’m tearing up again as I type this!!   I think it’s hard no matter what if your child is crying, but it was also such a shock and such a departure from her usual demeanor… Truth be told, I was a hot mess all day until pick up.  THANKFULLY every Wednesday is early release, so I didn’t have to wait as long!

That afternoon, we went to our neighborhood drugstore and got her a little beanie boo key chain to put on her back pack.  I told her that if she ever got sad, that she new her little dragon was there with her.  I also made sure that we made time for at least 15 minutes of cuddling on the couch on Thursday,

Thursday morning, I made sure that we made time for at least 15 minutes of cuddling on the couch, and at drop off, she grabbed another little girls hand that was looking sad, and together they both walked in waving as they went!

For me, it’s hard because I actually have LESS time to work than I did when she was in half day pre-school.  That is, if I still want to go to the gym, which I mentally NEED.  So…I’m frantically trying to get as much work done as I can, and then work more at night.  All that to say.  Not much time for this blog, which bums me out…

ANYWHO…I’m sure we will get our groove back, and we will find ways to spend quality time together, even if it’s not as much as we used to…sniff sniff.

Here she is the morning of Kindergarten.  The light sure is pretty at 7:25am!!

And she sure is freaking cute!!!

I started this questionnaire last year, so I had to do it again!

Again, all answers are straight from her as she said them.

What’s your favorite color?
💜purple

What’s the favorite thing you did this summer? 
Watching everything I want, eating, and playing with Findley and Miles (our neighbors/future in laws 😂).

What’s your favorite food? 🌯Burritos, 🍝pasta, and 🥑guacamole with cottage cheese.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
👸🏼 A Princess! That has a lot of pets!

What’s your favorite thing to do? 
📱Watch everything I want and play with my toys. (I swear I didn’t just let her sit around all day with the iPad all summer!!)

What’s your favorite sport?
🏈Flag football and 🤽🏻‍♀️dodgeball.

Then Maya got to pick a question and she chose….

What’s your favorite fruit?
🍌Banana, mango, and papaya.

Later that night, we went outside to get a few shots of us together…

She kills me! Creative crop, or I laughed my way out of the frame…hmmm, you decide!
SO excited to wear booties and a jacket again!!!  It’s been chilly in the mornings and evenings, but still 70ish in the afternoon. I’ve worn this jacket a lot, but I’ve never done a close up of all the cool distressing.

One of my BEST Goodwill scores ever!  And…I’m wearing it Maya’s 1st day of Pre-K pics too haha.

On me…

Jean Jacket- 3×1 thrifted for $10!!! (similar here retails for $300!!)
Boots- El Naturalista Duna N528 (thrifted for $7!!)
On Maya…
Jacket- GapKids (thrifted)
Hoodie- Juicy Couture (thrifted)
Dress- Hanna Andersson (thrifted)
Shoes- Converse (thrifted)
Keeping it Real…
These always crack me up… I had originally wanted to get the sun behind us, but it set too quickly.  Her facet tho!!
(all pictures taken with a self timer, because I lost my remote-wah wah!!, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Happy Anniversary to us! || “8” in Whistler

 The Huz and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on 8/8.  I’m a bit of a numbers nerd, so I was kind of excited about this one!

We were super lucky that my parents were able to watch Maya (and they took her to SO many amazing places!!), so we could escape town and have some one on one time.  It was SO needed and so amazing!

We went up to Whistler, and I only took my camera out once.  For like 5 minutes!  Actually exactly 5 minutes!  I just looked at the time stamp on the images haha.  The Huz isn’t a huge fan of pictures, and honestly it was REALLY smokey due to the all wildfires that are going on.

SO…this was it.  We had gone to an earlier dinner and I convinced the Huz to take a few pics outside our hotel.  This was a pretty busy walking path, and a group of 30 somethings walked by and asked if we were taking pictures for Tinder!

UM….WTF?

No…
Nope, not awkward.  OMG, and I just now noticed my remote on the top of the fence post!  Oh well.  Too lazy to remove that now! He’s a good sport 🙂 LOOOOOVE these next two of us!! We took a walk one day to Lost Lake, and it was SO pretty.  But kind of eery with all the smoke!  AND…after being outside for a few hours, we were both feeling the effects of the smoke.  Kind of sad, but also nice to lay in our hotel room reading-aka HEAVEN!

Here’s a few iPhone pics from that walk.  And…NO FILTER!  So odd looking back on these, and seeing just how smokey it was… Nope, no filter!!From our first night out… (iPhone)

We went to the same restaurant both nights!

We thought about going to another restaurant the second night, but we had so much fun sitting at the bar at Bar Oso, that we went there again the second night!

I highly recommend going early and sitting at the bar!  The first night we sat at the bartender’s end and watched him make all these AMAZING cocktails!  Some serious love went into them, and the Huz benefited from a few 😉  I stuck with boring wine…

The second night we sat at the food end.  They plate all the food right in front of you!!  And the attention to detail is AMAZING to watch and…eat!!

And, of course I had to take pictures of our food!!  Sadly, I only took them with my phone, but…still

On me…

Dress- Fraiche by J (Nordstrom Rack)
Belt- Old
Clogs- Miz Mooz (old, similar here )
On The Huz…
Shirt- Toscano (Nordstrom Rack)
Jeans- Joe’s Jeans (thrifted, similar here)
Keeping it Real…
I make the weirdest faces….fact.
Haha.
The Huz is like….Um….
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod)

dit-elle-Lauren

Mother’s Day 2017

 Just a warning…this is a long post!!

But, it could have been twice as long!!

AND!!  Oddly enough, it was a total last minute, run outside in front of our house after dinner shoot.  I swear those are the best for our family… 😉 Little windy haha. OMG!  Maya in this next one!! She loves her Meme!! I had to get a few of my parents! BUT…of course, Maya wouldn’t let them have pictures of just them…And some of the three of us!
LOVE!!! I can’t even handle these next two… Maya being Maya haha. And then…I want to EAT HER UP! Seriously…DYING!!!!

On me…

Tunic- Karen Zambos (eBay)
Jeans- DL1961 Amanda in Mania  (DIY raw hem, similar here)
Clogs- Korks by Kork Ease “Marcia Clog” (eBay sold out, here in black, similar here in brown)
On Maya…
Jacket- GapKids (thrifted, but similar here)
Jeans- DL1961 “Chloe” in Whiteley (C/O) OMG, look back on these…
Clogs- Hanna Andersson (old, similar here)
Keeping it Real…
And of COURSE, you know there were lots of “fun” shots too!
This is Maya’s classic face…
Oh, and when I tried to get shots of just me?  Literally…attached to my ankle… 😉 So….I tried to make the best of it! HAHAHAHA!
Her face!!!!
(all pictures taken as a combo between me, my mom, and my dad :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Easter 2017 | Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar

 To be honest, I was a little worried about being gone for Easter.   We usually do an egg hunt with my parents and then have family over for a big yummy meal.  Maya was a little sad when we told her we were going to be gone and not doing that this year…

I had googled “Easter in Mexico” and found out that it’s one of the biggest holidays down there.  A LOT of people take the week off before, so there were warnings of things possibly being closed.  It also mentioned that they don’t really celebrate with the “Easter Bunny”

SO…just in case, I packed a few little treats, and “Left a message for the Easter bunny telling him where we were going…” 😉

I needn’t have worried!  Our hotel had an amazing morning full of fun activities, and Maya was in heaven!!

Each kid got to pick out and keep a felt Easter basket to collect their eggs.DYING!! 🙂Easter egg hunt! This guy was amazing!  He must have been SO hot!!! They got to decorate a tee shirt with their handprints.Ginormous chocolate egg with candy inside.The Easter bunny cracked it open and it was MAYHEM!!!  Maya was right in front, and I miiiiiight have overreacted a little, panicked, and raced into the mob to get her so she didn’t get hurt.  

Thank you SO much to everyone at the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar for making Easter morning so special to so many families!!
I did a little video compilation that can be seen here.

dit-elle-Lauren