Summer Shorts on Repeat!

Okay gals! It’s almost officially summer time and if you are anywhere near the Deep South like me you are already feeling feeling the HEAT!! I basically keep 4-5 pairs of shorts on rotation all summer. I’m super picky about shorts and that’s probably why. I don’t want my booty hanging out in the back or constantly pulling on them in the front or my love handles hanging out on the sides, haha!!  AND because I’m cold 90% of the time and I wear scrubs most of my life. BUT, I am obsessing over a good pair of high waisted mom shorts, let me tell you!! These are my faves and I own all but one pair.

Lets break it down and I’m going to start at the top with the cuffed denim shorts from Old Navy. I could sleep in these, they are so comfortable. They have enough stretch but don’t stretch when you wear them. I give them an A++!

Everyone needs a pair of white shorts for summer. These high waisted white chinos are perfect for a more dressed up look for date night or with a dressier blouse. No stretch to these and they did shrink in the wash which I needed.

Next are the high waisted mom shorts. These are my most favorite pair of shorts of all time! I’ve worn these so many times since I’ve gotten them it’s embarrassing. No stretch and fit right at the waist, and the distressing is perfect. Target is really killing it with their shorts and these are only $15!!

Back to Old Navy, because they have such a variety and their shorts are just so good! These twill shorts are so soft and comfy and make for the perfect summer casual outfit or just bumming around the house.

The Old Navy boyfriend style denim shorts fit like a dream! I actually don’t own these and I’m not sure why. I love the length and distressing and color!

I cant leave out one of the newest, and of my favorite trends that I hope is here to stay, the paper bag waist. These belted paper bag denim shorts from Shein are adorable! They look super cute with a fitted tank or body suit and are all the rage this summer!

Last but not least are the white denim shorts from Old Navy. I have had these shorts for years and they will never go out of style and are still in stock on their site. They go with everything, are super comfortable and have just enough stretch.

 

XOXO, Lauren

Closet Staples from Ross!

First, let me start by saying that this post is not sponsored! I just love shopping at Ross and it’s really where the Thrifty Blonde all started! When my husband was in college, I worked as a cashier in a grocery store and made minimum wage so when I wanted to buy cute, trendy new clothes, Ross was the place I went. I love how they have clothes that are on trend but less than half the price, there’s something for everyone (even your pet) and I’ve decorated half of my house with their home decor items!

Last week, I went and bought five items, that are all staple pieces for Spring and Summer and can all be worn together to make multiple outfits. I spent $40 on everything, with the most expensive item being the skirt for $13.99. For the $40 I spent, I can get at least 6 outfits, just out of these 5 items, not to mention what all they will go with what I already have. The key is to buy versatile items, then throw in the fun, unique things every now and then.

What’s a staple piece, you may ask? To me it’s something that is a necessity to your closet and will go with multiple things. No, a bright yellow skirt may not be a necessity to your closet, but in the summer, it can be and can be worn with a graphic tee and sneakers or with wedges and one of these tanks or dressed up with an animal print top and block heels. A closet staple to you may be different to me. To save money, buy things that you know you can wear multiple ways.

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The white and black tanks can be worn by themselves or under a cardigan or kimono and the button trend is really hot right now.

The yellow skirt is so bright and cheery for summer and the paper bag waist is very much on trend. All three tops can be worn with the skirt.

The green joggers are the softest pants I own! They can be dressed up or down, again with the paper bag waist and all three tops will go perfectly!

The little pink smocked blouse was only $4.99 on clearance! It goes great with the joggers but also the skirt and will pair perfectly with some denim shorts. I see myself wearing this all summer long! Plus floral is huge right now and also can be worn into the fall under a cardigan.

Thrifty Tip: Try and buy pieces that you can style different ways and wear with different things to make your closet and dollar stretch.

XOXO, Lauren

 

6 Months Blogging! Tips for Beginners from a Beginner!

On April 15, 2019 I hit my 6 month blogging milestone! In these past 6 months, I have learned so much, met so many wonderful women and let myself become overwhelmed at times. I’ve always been a bargain hunter or “thrifty” shopper so I created The Thrifty Blonde Blog as a way to show people how to shop on a budget like I do, how to shop sales, and that you don’t have to wear designer to still stay trendy. I feel like I am accomplishing that goal so far and I have received a lot of positive feedback and it’s also grown into way more than I had imagined in a very good way! I don’t feel like I’m a wealth of information but I do feel like I’ve learned a lot in these 6 months and still learning every day.

I am an introvert and pretty much the least out going person you’ll ever meet. Blogging has really helped me come out of my shell a lot because in this industry you really need to find other like-minded girls to chat with or form a bond with. I have made the bestest of friends over the internet, and I know that sounds so weird to say but it’s the truth. More than likely, there are other bloggers in your area that you can meet up with for coffee or lunch and I highly suggest reaching out to them. I’ve met and had lunch with two of the sweetest girls in my area that are bloggers and I’m so glad that I did! There is a lot that goes into blogging and lingo that your family or significant other won’t understand that you will need other bloggers to talk to about. I’m part of a few engagement pods where we chat and get to know each other and I have a few close friends and bloggers that I look up to that if I have question, I know I will get a genuine answer.

I was not prepared for how much work blogging was going to be, hence why I said I let myself become overwhelmed at times. One thing I’ve learned about myself, is that I’m really good at planning and making schedules. I feel like I have the hang of it now, but until I came up with a way to plan when I was going to shoot my photos, when I was going to type my posts and what I was going to post on my feed every day, I was a little all over the place. I invested in a planner…a very good planner where I carry pretty much everywhere and this is how I stay organized and it’s easy peasy for the most part. At lot of people have the misconception that blogging is just being an Instagram model, basically. It’s so much more that goes into it like getting your outfits together, planning a blog post, writing a blog post, taking photos, editing photos, linking all of your items, etc…At first, I worried myself to death about having something to post every day. Now, I do agree that when you are growing your following that consistency is key, but I’m a bigger believer in quality over quantity. If I don’t have a picture to post that I don’t love, I don’t post that day and I’m okay with that. I normally try to post 5-6 times a week.

It’s very easy to get caught in the comparison trap. DON’T FALL IN IT!! I let this bother me for long time, way before I started blogging, but it hit me one day that I have so much to be thankful for and I’m so blessed that I don’t have to look at other people and be depressed that I don’t have what they have or look the way they look. I wrote a blog post on the this early on because it’s so easy to get caught up in.  You may wonder why other blogger’s accounts are growing faster than yours or they are getting to work with brands and you aren’t. You keep doing what you are doing and stay in your niche and it will work out for you, just try not to get caught up with numbers and follower count. I will eat you up.

I highly recommend getting your account verified by FOHR, which is free. It’s a company that helps influencers work with brands and if you are verified with them, it means that you have a healthy, authentic and growing audience. Once you get verified by FOHR, you have the opportunity to work with AmbassadHER, which is a company that pays you to post ads for them on your Instagram feed. You go through and pick which item you would like to promote, then apply. The cost is $2.99 a month to be a member with them. There are more, but this is who I have dealt with. I have worked with some great brands and have 3 awesome collabs coming up that I’m super pumped about. I never even thought about that when I started this…I just wanted to share my thrifty finds and maybe some recipes and DIY stuff. If you are blogging just for free stuff or to make money early on, you need to quit now because girlfriend you are in it for the wrong reasons. Don’t take every collab thrown at you. Try and pick collabs that are true to you and your brand and if you wouldn’t wear it or use it, then don’t share it.

Am I happy with starting a blog? Of course! It’s helped me show my creativity, helped me be more outgoing, helped me be more confident (because never in my wildest would I be on stories showing you how a swimsuit fit) BUT, when I feel like blogging is becoming a chore for me, I take a step back. I don’t post as much and I don’t have a blog post come out every Friday like normal. If I’m not feeling inspired or if I just don’t feel like I have anything to write about, I’m not going to throw together something, just to have something to post. I like my blog posts to have meaning and lots of meat to them, not just a picture of an outfit, so I put a lot of work into them and then I go back and edit it several times to make sure that it’s just how I want it. I guess it’s the perfectionist in me.

If you are on the fence about starting a blog, vlog, YouTube channel, whatever it may be, JUST GO FOR IT! If you are passionate about it, you will love it and you will thrive! I love blogging and showing girl’s how to dress on a budget but yes it is hard because I do have a full time job and family. I do it though because I enjoy it and I have made lifelong friends in the process! There are a few tips that I didn’t mention above that if you are a blogger just starting out, that I would like to share:

GET A PRESET YOU LIKEI ordered mine off of Etsy and I use with the LightRoom mobile app. If you are trying to get accepted into RewardStyle, a cohesive feed is one thing they look for.

NOT EVERYONE WILL BE A FAN OF YOUR WORK: Not everyone likes “influencers” and will question what you are doing. Just let it go in one ear and out the other.

DON’T FOLLOW TO UNFOLLOW: This is one of my biggest pet peeves and not a good way to gain followers. This was happening to me so often that I got an app that shows me who follows and unfollows me. It’s just rude to do this so if you are a decent person, you won’t do it.

ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE: This will get get you noticed and if you are stuck in that comparison trap I talked about earlier, complimenting people is a good way to get out of it. I spend a good few hours of my day engaging on other girl’s posts. Just go through the followers of a blogger you like and pick a few and like and comment on their photos and maybe follow a few. If you have the opportunity to be an engagement pod, I would do that. Some people swear by them, others swear them off. Personally, they have helped me. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

USE YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT TO MOVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG AND IG PROFILE: I always thought that Instagram would be the only platform I would use for my blog, but as I’m doing this longer, the more I learn that there is so much many more opportunities to grow my blog! I converted my Pinterest account to a business account and started pinning my photos from my IG feed and blog posts. A LOT of people still rely on Pinterest for outfit inspo and pretty much everything! I also have a Facebook page for my blog as well. Anything to get your page seen or direct traffic to your blog is worth trying.

BE CONSISTENT: I touched a little on this, but when you are first starting out and growing your following, you must be consistent. Try to post every day if you have enough quality content to put out. If not, 4-5 times is enough. Don’t post, then go a week with nothing. You will lose followers and people will wonder what’s going on? Where did you go? Also, try to get on your stories everyday. I don’t talk on stories everyday, but I do at least post something…like posting the photo I did on my feed, but putting a GIF over it, so people will go to my feed to see it. Also, hashtags will get you more story views.

BE NICE AND BE FAIR!!! I seriously cannot stress this enough! Just be a kind human. Not everyone will like what you post and that’s fine, but don’t be one of those people that gives negative vibes and starts drama. If someone comments on your post, go to their page and reciprocate. If someone reaches out to you with a comment or question, always take the time to respond. There is room for everyone, so we should all be supportive of each other.

I think that’s it, haha!! If you ever have any questions, I’m an open book! Feel free to ask!

XOXO, Lauren

 

 

 

CAUSEBOX

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I’m so excited to be collabing with Causebox because of what they stand for and they give back to amazing causes. Every box has more that $250 worth of products for only $54.95. I’m going to break down all of the products in the Spring box, tell you a little bit about that product and company, then give you a code for $10 off your very own box!

 

 

Vegan Leather Portfolio Clutch (Glass Ladder & Co.)

Gold plated bracelet that donates profits to A1 to fight human trafficking. (Marina De Buchi)

Spring scarf made from vegan alternative to silk and donates a percentage of profits to women’s empowerment through CARE.org (Cleobella)

Rose Water Toning Mist: Natural and Organic skincare that donates to non-profits supporting girls education.  (Kalos Skincare)

Bamboo Lyocell Eye Mask made from one of the world’s most sustainable fabrics (Ettitude)

Glow Bamboo Brightening Mask: clinical skincare results from a natural skincare company (Cosmedix)

French pink clay Konjac sponge: natural skincare products that donates to Sea Shepherd to protect marine wildlife (Wyld Skincare)

Cotton macrame plant hanger: planted 8,000 trees in areas of California most affected by wildfires (Altru Goods)

Art Print designed by Spring Box artist Alja Horvat

WHAT AWESOME THINGS THESE COMPANIES ARE DOING!!

TO GET $10 OFF YOUR SPRING CAUSEBOX, USE CODE LAUREN10

 

 

 

 

 

The Thrifty Blonde Takes on Beauty…kind of

OK, let me first tell you that I do not consider myself a beauty blogger! But, I do find myself on the makeup aisle in CVS, Walmart and Target quite a bit. I took a poll a little bit ago, and several of you were interested in seeing what beauty products I use so here we go! I will first say, that I have never been a fan of anything high end. I don’t see the point in paying a whole lot of money for someone’s name when you can basically get the same quality out of something else. I know this doesn’t apply to everything, but I just refuse to spend $20 on a tube of lipstick.

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This photo is not edited at all, meaning no filter and was taken today. I do not wear foundation at all. I feel like it makes my face feel dirty and greasy. Also, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I do not use a skin care line…never have. I use my trusty Clean & Clear face wash and have for years and that’s it! Most of the time, I sleep in my makeup because I’m too tired to take it off. Gross? Maybe? I’m almost 35 and my skin looks pretty good, so go get you some C&C I guess 🙂

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NYX Butter Gloss-Creme Brulee

NYX Retractable Eyeliner Pencil

ELF Mascara

Wet N Wild Mega Volume Mascara

Wet n Wild Illumintaing Palette

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Palette

Loreal True Match Powder

Wet N Wild Lip Gloss-Strawberry Ice

Wet n Wild Lipstick-Fushia w/Blue Pearl

First, I put on the Loreal True Match pressed powder. It has great coverage, less than $8 and lasts me about two months! Then I use the Illuminating Palette over that for just a little more color and highlight (this is a recent find for me and I’m obsessed!). Next, is my eyes. I tend to lean more towards shimmering pinks and purples but nothing too extremely bright. The Wet N Wild palette I found was perfect because it has the shimmery white for all over then light shades of purple. As far as eyeliners, I have used A LOT in my day and I love NYX! It goes on so smooth. I think brown eyeliner contrasts nicely with blue eyes so I’ve started using brown instead of my previous go-to which was “blackest-black.” I also switch up my mascaras between ELF and Wet N Wild to try new things out. I’m a huge fan of ELF and think I like it better! Lastly is lips…Honestly, I have about 20 tubes of lipstick in my purse, but I end up using hot pink in the end always. I like to use a lip gloss over it because I hate my lips to be dry and I like a little extra shine. I found this color combo to be perfect. The NYX Butter Gloss is also really pretty with just a lip liner if you want something subtle.
Thanks so much for reading ladies! XOXO, Lauren

Spring into EASTER!

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Next to Christmas, Easter is my absolute favorite time of the year! First of all, I love Spring time, then we get to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior! Our family always does it up big time on Easter as well. We get together and have tons of food, an Easter egg hunt and sacred family time. And talk about doing it up big time…I LOVE EASTER BASKETS! I’ve never been one to buy a pre-made basket. I probably go a little too far with the basket and what I put in it but I only have one child and gift giving is my love language 🙂 And of course I can’t leave out the part where you get all dolled up in your Sunday best for church and pictures. So here’s a few tips from me to you to keep your Easter as fun and fashionable as possible!

EASTER SUNDAY IS APRIL 21ST!!! In case you didn’t know, I thought I would throw that out there. Let’s talk about what you need to be doing now to prepare.

  1. EASTER OUTFIT: Picking out your Easter outfit. Don’t wait until the last minute because things get picked over and Easter is less than 3 weeks away already. My favorite picks are linked here, here, here, here and here.
  2. DRESSING YOUR FAMILY: If you have children or a husband to dress, I normally go to Old Navy for my husband and my son. Also, for children, try consignment shops. I buy button down shirts for Caden there for school pictures and you can get name brand items, gently used for cheap.
  3. EASTER BASKETS: If you have children, start thinking about and buying what you will be putting in their Easter basket. Or if you don’t and you want to make your significant other a little basket, you could do that too!
  4. FOOD: If you do anything like my family, you need to start making a list of your menu and what all you need. You may think I’m crazy but these next few weeks will fly by and you’ll wonder how Easter came so fast and you have nothing done.

Saturday night before we have to dye eggs…like we just have to. Honestly, I think I enjoy it more than Caden does. We normally cook steaks that night and sometimes do Resurrection Rolls which are really cool because it represents the empty tomb of Jesus when you open them up.

EASTER BASKET IDEAS: I normally start picking up things here and there at the beginning of the month for Caden’s basket. I always get one of those plastic tubs for less than $1 at Walmart then put the stuff in and around it. That basket won’t be seen or heard after this day so I’m not spending more than that. Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree are great places to look for cute little things to add in as well.

Baby/Toddler:

  1. Books about Easter
  2. Blanket
  3. Stuffed Animal
  4. New Pajamas
  5. Snacks/Candy
  6. Puzzles
  7. Coloring Book/Crayons
  8. Water Guns/Outdoor play toys
  9. New outfit/shoes
  10. Toothbrush/Bubble Bath
  11. Board Games

Grade School:

  1. Books about Easter
  2. New Clothes/Shoes
  3. Small Nerf Gun
  4. Makeup/Nail Polish
  5. Dollar bills or change in plastic eggs
  6. Favorite Candy
  7. Body Wash/Bath Set
  8. Action Figure/Barbie or baby doll
  9. Kid’s size watch/Jewelry
  10. Video Game
  11. Card games (UNO) (Go Fish)

FAVORITE EASTER DISHES

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I am no chef but I can follow a Pinterest recipe really well! I made these dishes several years ago for an Easter feast and I would love to make them again this year. Especially the colorful deviled eggs…how fun is that? I will give credit where credit is due but the green beans are my own creation and the deviled eggs are my hubby’s specialty with a fun twist!

GREEN BEANSUse whatever kind and how ever many cans of green beans you need for the amount of people you are going to feed. I normally just buy them at Walmart or Aldi. Pour the beans and the juice in the pot with 1-2 beef bullion cubes, 2 TBS of soy sauce and an onion if you’d like then let them cook until the water is gone on medium heat.

COLORED DEVILED EGGS: Boil a dozen eggs for about 15 mins and let cool. When cool, remove the yolk. Put one tablespoon of vinegar and a half cup of water and food coloring in a cup until you get your desired color. Drop the eggs in and let soak. Remove and put on paper towel and let dry, then pipe in filling. FILLING: 1/4 cup mayo, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 3/4 tsp white wine vinegar, salt, pepper.

RASPBERRY HONEY BUTTER: 1/2 butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup red raspberry preserves, 1/2 tsp vanilla—Beat butter until soft. Add honey and preservatives while mixer is running. Add vanilla and beat for 10 minutes. Store refrigerated in a plastic container. –recipe cred, Shauna Norton

KIELBASA AND KRAUT: Love this dish so much! I make it a lot in the fall but it’s good all of the time. I cut this recipe in half when I’m just cooking for Todd, Caden and myself. You’ll need 2 kielbasa, 2 32oz packages of sauerkraut, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 cup water,  1 cup apple cider. Drain and rinse kraut. Slice kielbasa into 1 inch lengths. Throw everything into the crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours. –Recipe cred beantownbaker.com

In all honesty, the Cadbury egg blondies were not good so I found something way better!! Lemon Cheesecake with Strawberry Cookie Crust  Yes!! I think so!!

Let’s not forget the real reason we celebrate Easter! I know all of the bunny rabbits are cute and we get distracted by the pretty clothes and buying candy and stuffing baskets. But Jesus died for us guys…he was ridiculed and beaten and left for dead on a cross for you and me to live eternally with him in Heaven! Isn’t that so AWESOME!! There is NO GREATER LOVE. I love you all and from my family to yours, Happy Easter! 

XOXO, Lauren

 

SHEIN HAUL!!

Happy Friday!! If you’ve been following along with me on social media this week, I’ve been sharing several goodies from Shein. Just a little FYI, Shein is an international company that has a huge selection and variety of clothing, shoes and accessories, mainly for women but has clothes for men and children as well. All of the items I got were good quality that I can see myself wearing for a while. I decided to make a blog post out of this because when I tried to link my items in the RewardStyle app, I could not find several of them. This way everything is in one place and linked for you to shop if you want! 🙂

For reference I am 5 feet tall, 125lbs and wear a 6.5 shoe. I normally wear a small or medium top and size 4 pants. I got a medium in everything but a large in the swimsuit because of my bust size which is a 34C.

I would also suggest reading the reviews! That really goes with any online purchases but Shein has really good ones and pictures as well.

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Drawstring Pocket Blouse | Black Espadrilles | Boyfriend Jeans (Old Navy)

I love anything olive green, so when I saw this shirt I was obsessed! It’s only $10 and has a drawstring at the waist. Also, these are the most comfortable wedges I’ve ever owned and for only $22!

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Flutter Sleeve Blouse | Distressed Jeans | Block Heels | Gucci Dupe Belt

I LOVE, LOVE this top! It’s so fun, but so chic. I feel like you could wear it out for date night or change into shorts for a daytime activity. Definitely worth the $15 and comes in 3 other colors!

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Leopard Print Blouse | White Shorts (Old Navy) | Sandals (Walmart)

It’s everybody’s favorite print in this $9 top! Just a tad bit see-through but you can’t really tell with a nude bra or bandeau. I wore this for an afternoon outdoors but it could easily be dressed up with some black denim and heels!

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Trumpet Sleeve Blouse |Belted Shorts

This is the prettiest, brightest red top! I always get compliments when I wear red, so I thought I would get at least one red item. The detailing on the sleeves just make it! I would go with your normal sizing on these shorts. I got a large and they’re a tad too big but so comfy! The belt is removable so you can go with or without it and tie it however you want!

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Swimsuit | Sandals

Everyone had a fit over this fun swimsuit when I posted it on Instagram! It’s only $11 and comes in 4 other colors! I just fell in love with the color combo when I saw it!

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V Neck Peplum Blouse

I am a total sucker for a peplum! This $11 cropped cutie was an instant add to cart moment for me. It is cropped, so it may not work for anyone over 5’4. The color is perfect and the material is breezy and great quality.

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Hoodie | SandalsWhite denim shorts

I’ve seen this hoodie so many times, like on Facebook ads and such and always wanted it so when I saw it on Shein’s website for $7 I had to have it. It’s not super warm but it’s perfect for chilly Spring and Summer nights or to just wear around the house. I am so cold natured so I’m literally always so freaking cold!!

 

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Floral Scalloped Top | Colored Jeans (Old Navy) | Espadrilles (Target)

I thought this top was absolutely perfect for Spring! It’s fully lined, so not see through at all and for $9, you absolutely cannot beat it. I paired it with some colored jeans that I already had and some espadrilles but this top would go with anything…denim shorts, black shorts, jeans, you name it!

Hope you enjoyed! Any other retailers that you would like to see or blog post request, just shoot me a DM or email! I love hearing from you guys!

XOXO, Lauren