November 2014 | Dearest Lou

One Dress, Three Different Ways

Do you have an old bridesmaid dress sitting in your closet collecting dust? Today I'm going to share with you guys this gorgeous bridesmaid dress from Weddington Way styled 3 different ways.

Some of you may know that my dear friend Dani got engaged over the summer and is getting married next Fall. She asked me to be her maid of honor and I have been searching all over the web for a versatile burgundy dress for the occasion. I immediately fell in love with this Watters Ash Bridesmaid dress, love the delicate lace, buttons, and length.

Watters Ash Bridesmaid Dress in Burgundy || Sparkle Box Clutch || Monarch Stretch Cuff Bracelet || Sparkle an Interest Heel

Watters Ash Bridesmaid Dress in Burgundy || Black Willow Biker Jacket || Soles Future Told Eye Candy Shooties || Large Varsity Open Letter Necklace || Heart to Heart Tights || French Connection Convertible Crossbody Clutch

Watters Ash Bridesmaid Dress in Burgundy || Cozy Open-Front Cardigan || Step it Upright Bootie in Wine || Alexa Panama Hat ||  Squirrel Print T-Shirt || Tights in Charcoal || Thigh Highs in Ivory || Classic Leather Belt

As you can see there are countless ways to dress up or dress down this gorgeous dress. This dress is definitely on the more pricey end of dresses I have looked for but I love how versatile and girly it is. Weddington Way has an assortment of trendy and gorgeous bridesmaid dresses. You can find the more current collection HERE.

Right now Weddington Way is having 15% off sitewide with coupon code: GIVETHANKS.

Here are some other Cyber Monday steals from the other stores I included in the styled looks above:

Anthropologie || extra 20% off sale items CODE: EXTRAJOLLY
Forever 21|| extra 30% off sale items & free shipping over $30
Gap || 40% off sitewide CODE: CYBER
Honey Bee's Knees || 15% off sitewide CODE: SHOPSMALL
Jane Basch || 20% off sitewide CODE: Friday14
ModCloth|| 25% off sitewide CODE: CYBERMONDAY
Nordstrom || up to 40% off select items 
Wallis || 25% off sitewide

Cozy Chic

Heart Shaped Locket from & Giveaway

6 Steps for Toddler Party Planning

For the past few days my sister and I have been busy planning final details for Zaden’s second birthday party tomorrow.  This year we wanted to keep it simple, small, and fun for the little ones.  I have come up with a small to-do list to make the process easier for those of you who may be in the same boat.

6 Steps For Toddler Party Planning

Step 1- Decide on a Theme

Zaden loves Despicable Me Minions and my mama and sister had previously purchased some Minion party supplies on super sale last year when they stopped carrying it at our local Walmart. This made making a decision on a party theme super easy this year. I can’t wait for Zaden to tell me what kind of party he wants to have next year.

Step 2- Make a Guest List, Establish a RSVP Date, & Mail Invites

I wanted to keep our party small this year and only invite Zaden’s closest friends and their parents to our party.  For a toddlers birthday party I personally suggest not inviting a ton of people because it will be crazy as is with several little ones running around unless you have a huge venue and tons of cash to drop on the party (;

Step 3- Purchase and Send Invitations

There’s something special about receiving an actual invite versus a Facebook or electronic invitation to an event.  My favorite card company is Tiny Prints. They have the cutest cards and always have fantastic promotions going on. I personally loved the cake cutout party invite design it was cute and a little bit funky.  I suggest mailing out invites 2 weeks in advance so your guests have plenty of time to make arrangements to be there.

Step 4- Plan Games and Activities

Something I feel is important for a children’s birthday party is fun games and activities to make this event memorable and fun for the little ones. It’s important to not overdo it especially since games and activities are bound to take longer with little ones. Some of the games we have planned for tomorrow afternoon is a homemade piƱata, place the pocket on the minion, bowling, and having the kids decorate their own mini murph pizzas to eat.  We also have cute party favors planned out for Zaden’s friends.

Step 5- Food

Decide on whether you want to serve an entire meal, snacks, or desserts. Depending on what you are serving plan you party around that time. We are hosting our party in the late afternoon since the kids will all be rested and ready to eat lunch and cake shortly after arrival.

Step 6- Decorations

When it comes to decorating I say keep it simple and fun. Make your theme known and make a list of items you already have or things you will need to purchase before shopping. I love going to Hobby Lobby and taking advantage of their 40% off a single item coupon. I have made a few trips and have gotten that deal on some of the larger more pricey items to bring total party cost down.

Remember to have fun and if something doesn't go as planned to not stress about it. 
Happy party planning!

Mama & Z Style: Hunter Boots and Neutral Colors

Hanes Hosiery Style Bestie Sweepstakes

Games For Motion Chocolate Games.. YUM!

In an age where technology is used for just about everything it's nice to disconnect every once in a while and make memories by playing good ol' fashion cards or board games. This holiday season, Games For Motion is releasing unique chocolate editions of family favorite games. For our game night this last weekend, we had a few of our friends over for a couples date night and played chocolate edition Scrabble and Candyland.

Compared to the games they are based on, all chocolate edition games are simplified and shorter. In my opinion it's more like buying chocolate that you can play a game with before eating. The board itself is a poster and there were 33 pieces of chocolate in each of the games we played. 

Wondering what the chocolate tastes like? Immediately after having a piece of chocolate it reminded me of the chocolate they sell in Christmas chocolate advent calendars. I wouldn't claim it's the "finest Belgian chocolate" but you definitely get what you paid for. However, any chocolate is delicious when you are craving chocolate (;

Chocolate edition games will be available nationwide just in time for the holiday season with retail prices starting at only $9.99. These would be great stocking stuffers, short and fun games to play on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or a great activity for kids on a snowy day.

Knitted Cardigan and Floral Leggings

Cozy Scarf and Mimi's The Look Giveaway

Dainty Gold Necklaces and Hints of Red

Boho-Chic with Lulu*s

Kisstletoe: Wearable Mistletoe and Giveaway

Guilt-Free Homemade Hot Chocolate

This week I made a delicious Sweet'N Low Hot Chocolate as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars.

This time of year is my favorite time of year (as cliche as it may be). All of our family birthdays, mine and Daryl's wedding anniversary, and favorite holidays make it extra special. I love how busy the holiday season is and all the joy and kindness that's around during this time of year. Although I rather be cold than hot any day it's always difficult to remember how cold it gets during this time of year. One of my favorite warm beverages is a nice cup of good ol' hot chocolate. I try to stay away from restaurants and fast food chains since those are filled with empty calories and large amounts of sugar. This recipe uses my favorite 0 calorie sweetener, Sweet'N Low along with more natural ingredients to satisfy that sweet tooth and hot chocolate craving (;

Sweet'N Low Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate
(2 eight ounce servings)

2 cups Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk or Fat-Free Milk
6 packets of Sweet'n Low (1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Chocolate Chips (optional for garnishing)
Fat-free Whipped cream (optional for garnishing)

  1. Combine Cocoa Powder, Sweet'n Low, and Salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a microwave safe dish, pour milk of your choice, vanilla extract, and cocoa mixture.
  3. Microwave on high until it reaches your desired temperature.
  4. Pour into two mugs (or 1 large mug) and garnish with fat-free whipped cream and chocolate chips.
Make sure and visit Sweet'N Low's website for more drink recipe ideas!
Also, don't forget to "like" Sweet'N Low on Facebook for coupons and much more.

Yellow Cardigan and Shades of Green with Lulu*s

Today Marks Year 23 || Birthday Giveaway Week WINNERS

Halloween 2014 Part 2

We started out the evening with a little bit of Trick-or-Treating. Zaden didn't take a nap earlier that afternoon so he was extremely cranky. He was so tired that he ended up falling asleep while we were out and about. We only went out for a little bit before rushing home to start setting up final preparations for the party.

As you can see above we had a lot of delicious festive foods. Mummy dogs, spider web bean dip, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and a spooky eyeball drink just to name a few.

Halloween 2014 Part 1

A week prior to Halloween, our dear friends the Breinholts joined us for some trick-or-treating at my grandpa's elderly home. It was so much fun and so cute seeing our little ones dressed up together. Zaden's eyes lit up as soon as he saw his little friends join us in the parking lot for a quick mandatory photo session (;

Something I completely forgot about elderly homes is how warm they are. I layered Zaden up in warm clothes under his costume thinking he would be cold (oops). We had so much fun going apartment to apartment and Natalie's comments were priceless. My favorite one that she kept on saying throughout the evening was, "This is the BEST HALLOWEEN E V E R".