Lets talk about hitting it out of the park with Stockings. As a mom that is basically a right of passage. When you grow up, you get to know all the details and stay up late putting toys together and stuffing those socks.

The trick is to start with the orange, a big one. It fills the toe right up. Gives you a nice headstart to loading that bad boy up. I promise you are winning from the first moment.

So now that we have started off on the right foot (pun!) you are ready. For the lady/girl on your list you can’t go wrong with chocolate of any kind. I prefer milk chocolate so if I’m on your list please take notes. Nail polish, perfume, cozy socks and more chocolate. I’m not kidding. This is definitely an event where it is so acceptable to go heavy on the sweets. I’d say a good rule-of-tumb would be to keep my stockings at a 95/5 ratio, wouldn’t you think? 95% sweets and snacks and 5% gifts?

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  1. Annie December 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    These photos are beautiful!
    http://www.fashionandbeautyinc.com

  2. Nicole December 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    You have the COZIEST home! And love all these ideas – especially the slippers!

  3. maggie December 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Your house is so cute!!

  4. annaliese December 22, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    All of those treats you mentioned sounded amazing! Merry Christmas!!!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  5. Mama in Heels December 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Your socks are so cute…I need to get some of them 🙂

    Xo,
    Janise

    http://www.mamainheels.com

  6. Nicole Green December 22, 2017 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Your house is an actual winter wonderland!! It looks out of a magazine.

  7. TORI johnson December 22, 2017 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Such a besutiful home!

  8. Mandy December 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Your home looks so festive! And what an awesome tip about the orange in the toe–I am totally going to try this! Happy holidays. xo

  9. leah December 23, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I always loved chocolates in my stocking, as a kid. Those look delicious

    xx Leah / http://www.eatpraywearlove.com

  10. Danielle December 23, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Your home is gorgeous!! I love all of the decorations.

    Keep Sparkling✨
    Danielle
    Sparkling Southerner
    Find me at : Instagram

  11. Elena Michelle December 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    your home is so so christmasy! i love your tree, and the stockings are darling. merry christmas!!

    xoxo, Elena Michelle
    http://www.anewyorkloveaffair.com

  12. Azanique Rawl December 23, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    I had no idea that LIDL had such great holiday gift options! I love your stockings and decor.

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

  13. Liz December 24, 2017 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Your home looks so cozy! I love it!

    Liz

  14. Alicia December 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Your house is beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  15. April Kusewicz December 26, 2017 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Your home looks so cozy Lauren, i always love your photos and those stockings are so cute!

  16. Ada December 26, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Lidl before but it sounds awesome! Love your Christmas decor. It’s so stunning.

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Nothing makes my family feel closer or happier than yearly family traditions. My kids love to have things to look forward to each year. They look forward to cheesy potatoes, Christmas bread, homemade chocolates, Christmas Eve traditions and being together for them. You can almost see the excitement in the air. It is electric. And traditions are my favorite and they make my heart sing.

I wanted to welcome you into my home to see a few of them. We hosted Thanksgiving this year and passed the threshold into becoming actual grown ups! Hahaah! I’m serious! If you have ever made an entire Thanksgiving dinner with just yourself and your favorite girl Cass, you know you can do anything.

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  1. Komal December 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Your home is absolutely beautiful. You did a great job of decorating and I love that rug! Your kids are too cute!

  2. Joline December 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I never thought of passing down rugs before but you’re right. They hold memories too. PS: You have such an adorable family!

  3. Ana De- Jesus December 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Aw you have a wonderful talent for photography and it I too love ‘traditions’ which also make my heart sing with joy. What really made me smile is the photo of you all sat together in one photo. Hold that photo tight as that will bring many happy memories for years to come x I followed you on Instagram by the way your account is amazing!

  4. Sadaf December 21, 2017 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Good job done! Your home is giving all the festive, cozy and welcoming vibes! Rugs totally matching with interior around it. Looks perfect!

  5. Kacie December 21, 2017 at 5:47 am - Reply

    A rug can really cosy up any home. Your family looks so lovely and happy!

  6. Stephanie Sherlock December 21, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I am not going to lie, I always want to jump right through the screen and into your home. Your’re home, children, family, life are so beautiful. God has blessed you abundantly. Merry Christmas.

  7. Rachel December 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Wow, i must say your home, rugs and family look wonderful. I’m so glad you get to spend quality time with the family!

  8. five little doves December 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Gosh you have the most beautiful home….and children!! What beautiful photos to treasure. I so need a rug like that!

  9. Raly December 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I love how you have decorated everything! This is my first year hosting Christmas Eve Dinner at my house and very excited and hoping to start a new lasting tradition. You have a beautiful family! Happy holidays!

  10. Vasundhra December 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    These pictures are wonderful! Your house is very beautiful and the rug looks great too. Merry christmas!

  11. Ali Rost December 22, 2017 at 2:51 am - Reply

    What a beautiful family you have .. and too cute about hosting your first Thanksgiving. I did the same a couple of years ago and thought “How in the world have I made it to 40+ and don’t know how to cook a turkey?” Of course, all was well. We too have our favorite things like Spritz cookies, baked beans, my grandma’s stuffing, and my brother’s coconut cream pie. We’re a small family, and after we eat, we play games of 500 into the wee hours of the morning. I wish for your family a very Merry Christmas! x

  12. CATALINA NINI December 22, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Your pictures have such a nice retro/ vintage vibe and I love it a lot. Your house decor is so pretty and the new rugs seem to fit in so well.
    Have a lovely and magical Christmas! To many more family portraits and sweet memories.

  13. Becca Talbot December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful family home Lauren, your photos are like those in a glossy interiors magazine 🙂 And I know exactly what you mean about family traditions at this time of year – my family has so many, I’m 30 years old and still get a stocking from Father Christmas for example lol x

  14. FS Page December 23, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Such a cute lovely family. And such great shots. You all look super-cute together. Hats-off to you for hosting a successful thanksgiving for such a big group. Everyone seems so happy, all smiling.

  15. Sarmistha Goswami December 24, 2017 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Traditions and memories are the essence of a festival and so nice to see you keeping them alive in your family. I am in love with all your photographs and particularly the one where your entire family poses for a shot! Merry Christmas!

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December 12, 2017

Singing to myself, a whole new wall! A whole new look for my view.

Guys. I just did an office makeover with Anewall and I’m obsessed. I’ll just show you… I wanted something bold but beautiful and easy.

Sean and I put this up together and we are still married! So that speaks to the process. I won’t say it was extra easy, but it was simple once we got our groove going. The panels come labeled 1,2,3 etc. We had six to put up. So! Up onto the ladder I went. Let’s just say, I’m no longer scared of heights since my attention to detail took over and I require perfection.

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  1. Elise December 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Wow, it looks beautiful!!

    xx, Elise

  2. Komal December 28, 2017 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Wow! You did an amazing job! I especially love the color choices. Brightens up the room real nice.

  3. Milton Coyne December 28, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

    that’s a really nice wall! It looks really refreshing and it compliments well with your rustic furniture.
    It made the room a lot brighter
    I just wish my working area is as clean and as colorful as this one… you just gave me an idea what to do this weekend – a room makeover! I think it is a nice way to welcome the new year! New Year, New Look!

  4. Ana De-Jesus December 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    I love your reference to Aladdin’s ‘ A whole new wall’replacing the lyrics with a ‘whole new wall’ instead. Annewall has some beautiful options and I love the floral feature wall that you have chosen it is beautiful!

  5. jhilmil December 29, 2017 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Awesome, this wall looks so stupendous. Indeed a beautiful wall in the room can lift your mood, more so I love something floral.

  6. Irena December 29, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Wow, I really like the wall. You are right, it is bold, but so refreshing and relaxing. Our house is being built so I’m constantly looking for decor ideas. I love it!

  7. Nayna Kanabar December 29, 2017 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Anewall sounds really good and the makeover looks fantastic.I would love an office makeover as my office needs brightening up.

  8. Sarah December 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    This looks gorgeous, I love the print you chose. Sounds like your office got much brighter!

  9. Kristina December 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    That’s such a cool wall! It makes the work area so much more fun to sit at, I love it! Also, THE CHAIR is gorgeous!

  10. eliza December 31, 2017 at 7:20 am - Reply

    That is a lovely wall – inspiring and seems like your office will always make you ready to be creative and productive. Great design.

  11. yogesh January 4, 2018 at 1:49 am - Reply

    nice article keep on blogging..

  12. Jitendra January 4, 2018 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Good article. It gives good inspiration.

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How to nail your engagement session! 10 tips

    1. PLAN TO BE ROMANTIC! And by romantic.. act like you like each other. I know photos are not everyone’s thing. You’ll be glad you were in the game when you get your photos back.
    2. Put effort into your outfits! Make sure outfits are planned for color and style. You will be SO glad you did. Plan from top of the head to the tip of your toes. The more you put in, the more you get out.
    3. Take a minute to drink some juice or eat a cookie. Nobody takes photos well with low blood sugar. Seriously. Don’t be cranky. Celebrate your love. But seriously, do us all a favor and eat.
    4. Bribe your love. (Yes. Promise a nice reward for a solid 15 minutes of participation) Seriously, if everyone is on board we can rock it out quick. Loads of photos to choose from if everyone is just on board. So be on board. Bribe your fiancé.
    5. Wear something on your lips. Even if it’s a neutral color? Lips make your photos look more complete. It doesn’t need to be a red lippie, it can be soft. But dang it, put something on your mouth. Again, you’ll thank me.
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  1. Elise December 12, 2017 at 6:51 pm - Reply
  2. Ana De- Jesus December 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    You are completely right it is so important to play along and create ‘moments’ in the photos so that they tell a story! Even when I take my photos I have to ignore the fact that I am freezing cold and just get into the character so that they create good photos! I have to say these photos are beautiful and I love the connection that is shown through the photos x

  3. Katie December 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos, and great advice! Putting in the effort to plan outfits absolutely makes a difference in how the pictures turn out! Also, the photographer’s expertise is important to rely on during the shoot!

  4. Terri Beavers December 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    What a cute couple. They look so happy together as well. Your photos capture that perfectly and not all photographers can.

  5. Marjie Mare December 31, 2017 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    You guys look lovely. Thanks for the tips, but I am sure, besides all the tips, your true love is what makes the pictures look even more beautiful.

    • Lauren January 2, 2018 at 10:20 am - Reply

      haha this isn’t me but my client is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!

  6. Ray January 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    These are some really beautiful photos and wonderful tips.

  7. Anonymous January 1, 2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Awesome tips! I remember doing my engagement photos about 6 years ago. My husband doesn’t enjoy photos, but he knew these were important to me so went along with it and I love the photos we have!

  8. Robyn January 2, 2018 at 1:17 am - Reply

    You did nail these photos. I love that you use natural light and not too much light for the photographs. Very beautiful.

  9. Tonya January 2, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    These are amazing tips! Sometimes people really dont know what all goes in to a photo, and even though it make feel awkward, it looks good! And its evident by your photos that you know what youre talking about !

  10. Kim January 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful couple! I love the way you styled you hair, it looks so pretty!! Such helpful tips!!

  11. Danielle Faith January 2, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    I think whenever getting professional photos it’s a good idea to relax and have fun. Plus it never hurts to put effort into the shoot and plan ahead. All of this goes a long way.

  12. Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com January 2, 2018 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    These are all such gorgeous photos! I love all the outfits here and how the couples love really shines through!!

  13. Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com January 2, 2018 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    These are all such gorgeous photos! I love all the outfits here and how the couples love really shines through!!

  14. Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com January 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Thes pictures are all so gorgeous! I just love how the couples love really shines through here!

  15. angie January 2, 2018 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    beautiful pictures, capturing great moments of love
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogpsot.com

  16. Melissa January 2, 2018 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    awe…love it! I had such a great time when my husband and I did our photo session for our engagement. Those pics still make me happy today!

  17. Mike January 2, 2018 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Beautfiul pics…congrats on the big event! Looks like an awesome 2018

  18. Brandi January 3, 2018 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Wow these tips are great. The photos look so amazing! Planning is definitely key with something like this.

  19. jill conyers January 3, 2018 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Beautiful photos! You both look so happy.

  20. Jake Ferrer January 4, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Oh you two look so perfect! I love all the photos. May your happiness last forever.

  21. Ariel January 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    These pictures are so stunning! I love all the great tips. I laughed during my whole engagement photo shoot which made for some really great pictures but some odd ones because I was so nervous.

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  1. Soonjoo December 15, 2017 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Lidl sounds like what I really need as shopping guide for the holidays! Love your outfit! I’m a big Heidi Klein fan! Her style is absolutely amazing! I need to check it out! 🙂

  2. Rachel Catherine December 15, 2017 at 11:30 am - Reply

    This all looks so amazing! I love your outfits and make up always!

  3. Jasmine Crockett December 15, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I absolutely love that jacket! Definitely about to check them out

  4. Stephanie Sherlock December 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I love your combination of texture and your lovely life. Your red lips are stunning.

  5. Aseky Bonnaire December 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I am loving all these outfits and the prices! You look gorgeous 😍

  6. Michelle December 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Why don’t we have that store here?!?!?

  7. jhilmil December 15, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Awesome, Lidl looks like a great stop for the shoppers at a reasonable price. Loved your dresses from them and how cute you look with your daughter.

  8. Akamatra December 16, 2017 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Wow you look amazing in these outfits! I would never have guessed they are form LIDL. Great choices!

  9. Sarmistha Goswami December 16, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I am seriously obsessed with your beautiful photographs! Lidi sounds like a great brand, except that it is probably not available in my country. But I still enjoyed browsing through your post and thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Shell December 16, 2017 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love your gorgeous and beautiful outfits!!! I love the jacket so very much!!!

  11. Erin December 17, 2017 at 12:59 am - Reply

    That fur coat. Gorgeous.

  12. five little doves December 17, 2017 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Oh how gorgeous!! I love your outfit, that jacket is just gorgeous. What lovely colours too, perfect for this time of year!

  13. Sheri December 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    The coat is nice, I really like it. There is a store here called Lidl but it is a supermarket with few clothing items.

  14. fashionandstylepolice December 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Wow lovely photos here. I really like the lipstick shade. It suits you so much.

  15. Vasundhra December 17, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    These photographs are stunning! I love the one with your daughter, she is very pretty. God bless her! I am seriously impressed with your review of Lidl, the prices are very affordable. will check it out!

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December 4, 2017

This post is sponsored by Westfield Annapolis but all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Can we all just take a second and admit getting to the mall can be hard!? Guys. I’m not kidding you all here. I am a mama. I’ve got two kids that like to jump off things and I want to eat chips right now instead of doing my hair.

But guess what I’ve discovered!? When the shopping trip to the mall can be an event? When it holds more than just stores? When there are kid friendly options? The mall is FUN again! And I’m serious. Fun. And guess who else said it was fun? Chase. My six year old boy who is like his dad. Brain turns off when he thinks he is shopping for girl stuff.

Westfield Annapolis blows it out of the park with their long list of kid friendly options. Let me just lay it out for you.

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  1. Dalene December 18, 2017 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Absolute Christmas fun you had at the Westfield Annapolis mall! Trust me, I’d also start at the Santa post! Haha….oh Zara, not an option to leave out, kust stacking and stacking more…according to my ‘card size’ though…

  2. Aditya December 18, 2017 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Well I guess Christmas is around. And one day, I will surely know the meaning of this festival. But in our country, only Christians enjoy. But I want to see what it is about. I love Christmas almost as any other Indian festivals. BTW, May I borrow your hat? It does look cool. 😛 😀

  3. Elena Toma December 18, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    You look absolutely amazing and the little ones are so adorable. I have to say that I have the same white fluffy cardigan vest that you are wearing in some of these beautiful photos, so funny isn’t it ? It looks like you guys had a lot of fun at the mall, Zara is definitely a shop I always enter and spend like 30 min there and a lot of money, I just cant help myself !

  4. Sarmistha Goswami December 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I personally love spending time in a mall but I do understand, with kids it can get stressful.But it’s amazing you had so much fun in this kid friendly mall.

  5. five little doves December 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    What beautiful photos! I love everything about this post but most of all I love your hair haha! It’s beautiful!

  6. Ania Travels December 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    How fun!!! Looks like you had such a fun packed incredible day at the mall. I would totally be all over the zara shop as well. It’s my favorite. Looks like the little ones sure loved santa though 🙂

  7. jhilmil December 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Hey that looks so much of fun day at the mall, the photos speak of the happiness and enthusiasm:). Great that kids had an amazing time as well, my son does get wary many times in the mall due to heavy crowds.

  8. Soonjoo December 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    What a fun place to be! I love meeting Santa at the mall with my niece! Oh my fav store free people is there too! I need to visit!

  9. Lena Juice December 19, 2017 at 12:00 am - Reply

    These photos describe your fun day so good 😉 and I really like your festival style and the editing of your photos is gorgeous 😉

    The White Ocean

  10. kavita December 19, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Seems you had such a fun packed an incredible day at the mall. I like the festival style you have created and your photos look amazing 😉

  11. Ana De- Jesus December 19, 2017 at 11:30 am - Reply

    We have Westfield’s in the UK but I had no idea that there was versions worldwide as well! I think you and your family are so darn photogenic and I was smiling at all the photos that you took in this blog post! I am so glad to hear that the mall helps those who has kids out with some exciting activities like Santa! x

  12. Eloise December 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    sounds like a fun time at the mall with the Kiddos! (and who said you couldn’t have fun there with kids! HA!) love your photos, all smiles ; )

  13. Vasundhra December 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Loved the expressions on your daughter’s face while meeting Santa! I am sure you had so much fun at the Westfield Shopping Mall. All your pictures are amazing!

  14. Stephanie Sherlock December 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I’m excited. You make it all look so wonderful. You’re kids are so cute and they look like they had a magical time.

  15. Akamatra December 20, 2017 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Awww how cute is the bunch of you? I love all your outfits and smiling faces! Have a great Christmas!

  16. David Elliott December 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I love all of the beautiful pictures you have there with both you and your kids. You look absolutely stunning. And your kids are adorable. I am sure the experience with Santa must have been a lot of fun.

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