Style Post: TESTIFY IN LAUREN CONRAD

Sweater: Sonoma  //  Necklace: Forever 21 // Dress: LC Lauren Conrad Kohls // Bag: Nine West
 Leggings: Random // Boots: Bakers // Lippie: Va Va Violet by Revlon // Lacquer: Carry On by Essie
Today I wanted to share the outfit that I wore to church this past Sunday.  I bought this dress from the LC Lauren Conrad Kohls Collection months ago when I initially found out I was pregnant. It was huge at the time, but it was so pretty I just couldn't leave it on the rack - especially since it was on 70% off on clearance. I knew the day would come when I'd be able to fit into it, and now that I'm 8 months along - the day has come lol! Although it's the perfect summer dress, I tried to make it more fall appropriate with this super comfortable sweater, tights and boots. 


I bought this necklace from Forever 21 to wear with my original baby shower outfit, but after finding something new it just didn't work. I just love the color of the stones and the thin gold chain wrapped around it makes it pop even more. 


Towards the end of this weeks service, our Pastor randomly asked my husband and I to come to the front and share our testimony with the congregation. If you're newer reader to my blog: (in short) after our daughter passed away, my Pastor prophesied to us that we'd be expecting a little boy soon. Through our grief, we stayed strong in our Faith and our church family would consistently pray for us. After getting Saved in April, my Pastor told me that I was ready for my baby as we were leaving the Baptism. The following month, I then found out that I was a month a long and as we all know now - I am in fact expecting a little boy.

Although I speak about my loss here on my blog, I have quite the challenge sharing my story out load. I cried in the beginning as I shared my journey with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but I was given the strength to get it together in hopes of encouraging someone. God has done some amazing things for myself and my husband in 2012 and know that 2013 is our season. My life has changed so much in the past year and know it will be even better in the next twelve months. I've come a long way...I can finally say that I'm truly proud of myself. 

MY CIRQUE DU BEBE SHOWER: The Food


Today I wanted to share all the amazing food that we at at my Cirque Du Bebe Shower. Although the event was held at a 5 star restaurant, I wanted the food to be familiar, fun and light. After working closely with my event coordinators, we came up with a menu full of comfort foods to coincide with my circus theme.

During the first 30 minutes of the shower, we were treated to hors d'oeuvres and a variety of fruit juices. Servers rotated between Grandma Jenny Meatballs ( Basil Marinara, French Pesto & Reggiano Cheese ) and the most incredible Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (served in Espresso Cups with Tomato Basil Bisque). 

Once the cocktail half an hour was over, we moved into the other section of the room where everyone was seated and we began to play a few games. I then had the buffet open up which consisted of seasonal fruits with yogurt as well as Mini Burger Bites, Mini Grilled Chicken Sliders and French Fries. Guests were able to add their own condiments and vegetables to their mini bites (see 1st photo). The presentation was great and I just couldn't get over the fries with ketchup in the clear containers - genius!


After lunch and a few more games, we then opened the dessert buffet which my guests and I were obsessed with. The Addison staff told me that they had their own cupcake stand, but I had no idea of would be something so amazing and unique. This totally trumps the little vintage cupcake stand that I was going to bring in. The vanilla, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes were set in zebra print wrappers that I found at Party City. I thought it would be a great way to tie in the theme. 

Secondly, I had the top secret ice cream sundae bar...well a few people knew about it, lol. Guests were able to choose from vanilla, chocolate or cookies and cream ice cream to top with their choice of sprinkles, Reece's Pieces, Oreo Crumbs, Caramel Sauce, Gummy Bears, Chocolate Sauce or strawberries.



To say the food was phenomenal would be an understatement. It was more than I could have
 imagined and the presentation far exceeded my expectations. No one could stop talking about
 the lunch or desserts! The ice-cream sundae bar was an unexpected treat and the
 cupcakes were to die for in addition to the sandwiches, etc. 

I can not thank The Addison staff enough for making my big day perfection! 

Special events are all about the food and decor! Stay tuned for the next 
Cirque Du Bebe post where I'll break down the decorations. 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENT 
SECTION BELOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT OUR DELICIOUS EATS :)


InstaStyle: GIVING THANKS

Scarf: Love Culture // Dress: H&M // Crossbody: Nine West // Tights: Random // Boots: Bakers

It's been quite a while since I've posted a style post, but I just feel guilty when all I have to show are instagram shots. Between a broken DSLR and having an iPhone handy more than anything, this is all I have to give - I hope you don't mind. 

I'm pretty much running out of outfits to wear but thankfully I don't get out much. Since I'll be giving birth in the next 7 weeks (give or take), I don't find it logical to go shopping for new things that will be too big soon. Lucky for me, I've always been one to purchase items with a good amount of stretch in them - so I'm squeezing the last bit out of the pre-pregnancy clothes that I have. 

We've actually been having some cool weather in my neck of the woods, so I took advantage of the fact that I could wear a "fall look" to Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. I pulled out this fuchsia H&M dress that I bought on sale around the top of the year which is still one of the most comfortable items in my closet. I paired it with my favorite scarf and go to crossbody which picked up some of the colors. I rocked my favorite fall lipstick, Va Va Violet by Revlon, which picked up hues from the scarf as well and sported quite the successful bantu kno outt. I was happy it was cool enough to wear tights, because I haven't seen my pudgy little legs in months...and neither has a razor. These boots from Bakers were in heavy rotation when I lived in New York, but this has been my first time whipping them out since relocating. 


I have so much to be thankful for this year - a new baby on the way, the best husband I could ever ask for, supportive family, loyal friends and a solid business idea that will hopefully allow me to be the successful entrepenuer I've always wanted to be. With the year coming to an end, it's time for me to start working on my 2013 vision board and continue planning the details of my 2013 takeover. The upcoming year is going to be a good one for both me and you, I promise.

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR?

WEEK 32 | Stretch Marks & Other Thoughts

Sometimes I look at my ever changing body and just think, "wow". It's the first time in my life where I'm excited that my belly is expanding every week and I can't find an ounce of care to give about the stretch marks. Normally I would never share a photo like this pre-pregnancy...I don't even wear bikini's lol.

The more my little boy grows inside of me, the more I think about the life I want him to have and the example that I want to set. To be honest though, sometimes I cry at the realization that we'll never be able to have any of the joys with Jolie that we're going to have with her little brother. I had a severe meltdown about it last week. There are no words to explain how thankful I am to have chance at bringing another life into the world, but I do wish that Jolie was still here too. At times I even get a little nervous that he's going to look just like her at birth and bring me back to July 2, 2011. It's mentally exhausting being pregnant after experiencing what I went through in my 1st pregnancy but I thank God every day for this opportunity.

I'm so looking forward to meeting him and kissing him until he get's annoyed with me. I can't wait to see his feet in the little socks we bought, put his hands in those little mittens and swaddle him in these super cute blankets. I can't wait!!! But of course, I need him to stay in there until he's due, lol. My family is eager to meet him although I already see that they're going to spoil him - my mother especially...but that's what grand mothers do right?

Dear January, please hurry up :) 

COUNTDOWN TO BABY: Let's Get Organized


Seriously...this baby making his presence known around here and he hasn't even showed up as yet! His stuff is everywhere and it's time for me to get it together. I have his first load of laundry to do and put away, but not before I buy him a few more things this weekend. Despite all that I picked up from Carters [ watch my video haul ] I still need quite a few more hats, night gowns, fitted sheets for the crib and tons of other necessities. Praise Jesus for coupons, baby showers gifts and my husbands job !!! All this stuff and the need to get it all together has been driving me crazy, but after this last dehydration episode Husband won't let me anything without his help. I still don't know where some of these things are going but I know they need to be put away, especially the things that he doesn't need as a newborn. By the way if you're an expectant mother or have any in your life that you're helping out, my blogger friend Ro has a very helpful video on her Newborn Essentials.  

Am I the only expectant mother that's 
gotten overwhelmed with all of baby's stuff?

Week 30 & 31 Recap ( early contractions)

silly faces in my doc office at 31 weeks
I'm 8 months pregnant today!!!! Week 32!!!! (( drops it like its hot...and struggles to pick it back up))!!! 

Week 30 kicked off with a fender bender while on my way to the airport to get my sister. I ran lots of errands in preparation for the shower and the event was flawless. I ran around for a few days after that and boy did I pay for it. I started having an all too familiar feeling in my abdomen - I started timing them and quickly determined that they were contractions. We headed to the hospital where they told me that they weren't picking up anything on the monitor. That was all too familiar as well, as it was a similar situation with Jolie. Since they refused to treat me for something they couldn't see I went home knowing that I'd return later. As expected, the pain got worse and I couldn't even sleep. Around midnight we headed back to the hospital and this time the contractions showed up on the monitor. It was determined that I was dehydrated, which caused the mild contractions. I wasn't in labor, so after a few hours of the IV, the contractions calmed down and I was able to return home. As a result, I spent all of week 31 in bed drinking a ridiculous amounts of water to stop what was left of the mild contractions. It took a few days but they're completely gone now. 

The panic in my husbands eyes during the entire ordeal was too much for me to handle, so I really had to put on a brave face during the whole thing. My dad completely lost his mind in fear that the same thing was happening all over again. I tried to reassure him that things would be different this time as I was much further a long in this pregnancy, but it took quite a while to come him down. Surprisingly I was the only level-headed person in this situation. I just know that Jolie watches over me and her little brother...that alone kept me extremely calm and allowed me to not worry one bit. 

During these last 8 weeks, I'll be staying off my feet and drinking lots of water. With the exception of doctor visits, picking up some more things for Grey and celebrating my anniversary this weekend - that's pretty much it for me. I'm so excited to see this little boys face and have a chance to be the mother I've always dreamt of being. It's been a rocky journey, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything - it's all going to be worth it. 

CIRQUE DU BEBE // The Giftbag (favors)


When it came to favors for my shower, I was set on having edible favors from the beginning. I'd originally planned on custom individual cookies that were in the shapes of elephants and have a cotton candy machine at the venue so that people could bring those home as favors as well. However, I wasn't allowed to bring in any unwrapped foods into my venue and though they offered an alternative, I didn't want things getting too expensive. I wasn't willing to compromise not having cotton candy at a circus themed shower, so I decided on using it as a favor instead. Things then snow balled from there into a gift bag instead of a single custom cookie for each guest. 


1. THE ACTUAL GIFT BAG // I purchased these blue bags from Dollar Tree, where they had a special for 2 bags for $1.00. Dollar stores usually offer a variety of colors in these bags, more than likely you'll find one to match your theme. If you have the time and money, you can always have customized stickers made to personalize your bags with your theme. Because I didn't get my favor ideas together until just a few days before, I didn't have that as an option. 

2. THE COTTON CANDY // After searching around online, I settled on Floss Zone for my cotton candy. Shipment is only about 2 days and I can't rave enough about the customer service that I received over the phone. As a matter of fact, it was the person on the phone (who may also be the company owner) that gave me a great suggestion on how to get my popcorn. He suggested trying my local mall for gourmet popcorn and that way I could skip shipping. The cotton candy shipped right on time and arrived at my door ready to go in the color blue that I requested. 

3. THE POPCORN // After the suggestion, I decided on Pops Corn. Once I found out that their chocolate covered caramel popcorn was their most popular, I just had to have that flavor. I had a choice of buying the popcorn by bulk and than going out to purchase the bags and bag it up myself - but since everything was so last minute, I couldn't do that. I had to choose the more expensive option of having the company individually bag everything for me and have it ready for pick up at the mall the day before the shower. 

All my guests RAVED about both the popcorn and the cotton candy. 
Both of them are incredibly tasty and complimented the theme very nicely.
 Both vendors were easy to work with, personable over the phone and delivered on their promises. 


Carter's Baby Haul


Hey friends! Today I wanted to share my very first shopping experience that I had for Baby Grey. Besides his crib that I ordered online, this was my first time actually going into a baby store to shop for him. In this video, I share all my finds and deals that I got over at my local Carter's. FYI: I now see how ladies end up going a little crazy with shopping for babies! Everything is so little and cute. OH! MY! GOODNESS!


If any mommy's out there have tips or suggestions on anything else that I need to purchase before Grey arrives, please feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Thank you in advance. 


My CIRQUE DU BEBE Shower Overview

THEME // 
To be quite honest, the theme of this baby shower was no brainer for me. I'd spotted this CIRQUE DU BEBE (French Circus) theme on Hostess With The Mostess last year when I was planning Jolie's shower. Though I wasn't able to have anything become of that initial plan, the theme still stood out to me this year. I just love the colors and the fact that theme doesn't necessarily scream "baby". Between all the inspiration on HWTM and the free printables from the site, I just had to finally bring this initial vision I had for myself to fruition. 

THE VENUE // 
I initially planned on having a shower completely different than what I actually had. It was to be a night time event with a dj at a completely different venue. Unfortunately, the price that venue was trying to charge me was ridiculous for what I was getting and totally unfair. I figured if I'm going to have to spend my money, I might as well have exactly what I want. In addition to that, my husband and I decided that we needed to have a venue that would pretty much take cake of everything for us - catering, already having table & chairs, etc. Between his and my moms works schedules and me just having all types of medical issue this pregnancy, no one wanted the stress on me since I was on my own as far as planning. 

Since I was now going to do a venue where I had to pay per person, I decided on a lunch time event as that is always cheaper than dinner [ tip ] . I tried my wedding venue but unfortunately they weren't available for Sunday afternoons. I then thought of another venue I'd visited during my wedding venue search, The Addison in Boca Raton. I was quite sure my family was going to give me the side eye on this choice (because it's quite high brow for a baby shower after all) but surprisingly everyone was on board. My mom did tease me a bit asking if it's ever possible for me to not do it big, lol...I guess not mom. After visiting the new room where my shower was to be held (which has just finished being built) and collaborating on a fun custom menu that suited my theme, no where else seemed up to par. 

There was no question that everything was going to be outstanding and far exceed my expectations. The event planners were incredible during the planning process and the staff at the actual event were remarkable. They helped with everything from unloading the car, to wrapping gifts, helping us set up, loading all all the presents in the car, and just anything that needed to be done. Our guests were treated to free valet service, although hilariously enough, one person didn't get the memo and decided to park the car himself lol. 

I can't say enough about The Addison, except that I'm trying to find an excuse to have another event there. 

MUSIC //
Since opting for a more laid back afternoon event, we skipped the DJ thing and had Cousin Kim create a playlist. A staff member was able to assist her in setting up and we had soothing background music in no time. 

There are many more shower recaps to come where I'll go into more detail and provide links to my vendors and ideas. Expect post breakdowns on the food, decor, games, DIY's and much more this week. The laptop issue seems to be fixed so keeping stopping by for more! And as always, if you have any specific questions - please feel free to ask :) 

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CIRQUE DU BEBE Was A Success

[ Me x Baby Grey x Husband ]

I feel as though I haven't blogged in forever. Unfortunately my laptop is out of commission and with all the running around pertaining to the shower, I haven't been able to tend to it. Though the weekend started off dramatic with myself, mom and Lil Sis getting into a fender bender (baby and I are fine), I couldn't have asked for a more amazing baby shower. It was perfect and turned out even better than I imagined it would. All my family and friends were able to make it down from New York post Sandy, and got a little break from having no electricity. I'm looking to get things running around here as soon as possible so that I can start posting some recaps of my amazing day! For now, head on over to my instagram for a little sneak peek. If you need to be in touch, you can always find me on twitter or shoot me an email at info@lovelossandlacquer.com - hope you're having a great week!!!

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