I am excited to announce that I am taking over InStyle.com today as the site’s guest editor! If you head over to InStyle’s website this morning, you will be able to see a whole selection of content curated by me. That includes an exclusive Q&A that Hannah and I conducted with each other about The Little Market, a recipe for my new favorite DIY face mask, and a few of my very favorite LaurenConrad.com blog posts that I am sharing with InStyle readers. Plus, as part of the guest editorship, I’m chatting live with InStyle on Twitter at 1pm PST. Make sure you tune in to see me answer fan questions, and chat beauty, style, and more.
Are you going to tune in for the live chat? I hope you will!
I really enjoy writing Ask Lauren posts. I get together with my LC.com editors and read through questions you all post in the comments, which are always very interesting to discuss. Today I’ll be covering the topic of friend feuds: What to do when your besties are in a fight and you’re stuck in the middle…
This is a place I have definitely found myself in before, where neither one of my friends had wronged me personally but I was inevitably stuck in the middle of their argument. The hard thing about this situation is that you want to support each friend, but there are obviously feelings of betrayal from one friend if you take sides with the other.
My approach with petty issues is to try and stay neutral, even if I do secretly have a side. However, if I know that one friend did something really wrong and I feel strongly about it, I will speak up. After gathering my thoughts, I will calmly say something like, “Hey I don’t want to take sides, but I’m afraid what you did might be affecting your friendships.” Obviously this might turn into a little argument of it’s own, but I truly believe that you are the company you keep. Your friends and relationships are a reflection on you. So if one of your friends is doing something you really don’t agree with, you should politely voice that. If it’s a minor issue that is strictly between your two friends though, stay out of it and just treat both friends equally (easier said than done, I know).
Sometimes friendships fall apart and that’s unfortunate. But it’s important to not let it change your own relationships with those friends. Things change, and that’s part of life. When all else fails, my best advice is to always, always follow the golden rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
I hope that everyone is enjoying my latest book club selection, Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler. It’s such a fun summer read, especially if you were already a fan of Chelsea’s comedy. When I announced the book, I asked you to read to the end of Chapter 5 (titled “Mombo Camp, Botswana) by today. Here are a few discussion questions for everyone who has been reading along with me…
1. Chelsea’s misadventures are often absurd and even self-destructive, and her humor can be a bit off-color. What makes this entertaining to read?
2. Have you ever traveled abroad with friends? What kind of tensions does it bring on, and how are they similar to the tensions between Chelsea and her girlfriends? What makes for a good travel companion?
3. What do you think is the funniest part of the book so far?
4. What is your least favorite part so far?
5. How does Chelsea’s perspective change in this last chapter about her trip to Africa? What made her have a change of heart?
1. Chelsea has a no-holds-barred approach to her storytelling. She’s not afraid to make fun of herself or her loved ones. It’s fun to observe someone in situations you would never find yourself in, saying things that you would never let come out of your own mouth. She exaggerates a lot of things and focuses on the most random details sometimes, all for the sake of comedy.
2. Chelsea and her girlfriends end up bickering at times. I think that’s entirely normal since traveling abroad can be stressful. You can tell they have that dynamic where they’ve all been friends for a long time and treat each other almost like sisters. I travel a lot with my friend Hannah for The Little Market. (We even went to Africa together!). Hannah is a good travel companion because she is so easygoing and makes me more easygoing too. For example, one time her luggage was lost for half of our trip and she didn’t even bat an eye.
3. I think that the funniest part is Chelsea’s undying lust for the safari guide Rex. No matter how he responds to her advances, she keeps the fantasy going with her flirtation. It’s funny how she makes him the main attraction of her trip, even when she is in an incredible foreign setting. I don’t know how they convinced him to join them in Botswana…
4. As far as my least favorite part, I always get a little frustrated when Chelsea and her friends spend too much time complaining and not enough time opening their eyes to the experience around them. I know it’s all in good fun though!
5. At the end of Chelsea’s African safari, she sees some very rare things like a live kill and an elephant charging. Even though her attitude was pretty flippant the rest of the time, she realizes how special this sighting is. This one moment changes her perspective on the trip as a whole, causing her to appreciate the whole experience more.
With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to plan a picnic. I love dining alfresco when the weather is nice, from the park to the beach to my own backyard. So today I’m sharing a few tips to make your picnic perfect…
While you can have a picnic practically anywhere, your choice of setting will set the tone and determine what exactly you bring along. Consider the following… Will you be hiking to a picturesque spot surrounded by nature? If so, you will want to pack a lighter load for the trek in. Will you be dining in a park with wooden picnic benches? You can skip the blanket in that case. Are you packing a picnic for an outdoor concert or movie? Make sure they allow glassware at the venue.
For a picnic, foods that travel well are a must. Think perfect mini picnic sandwiches, pasta salad, or hearty greens like kale that don’t wilt in the heat. Fresh fruit is another good choice, along with a selection ofcheese and charcuterie. And don’t forget a thermos full of floral infused lemonade or iced tea.
A picnic makes for a great romantic evening, group date, or a fun afternoon with friends. And bonus: there’s really no limit to how many people you can invite, like there might be if you’re living in a small apartment (including your canine friends). If you’re inviting a several others along, I suggest assigning some guests to bring a main course, some a side dish, some a beverage, and some dessert, and then sharing them all potluck style.
While your picnic spot will determine exactly what you tote along, there are a few items I recommend having in your picnic arsenal. No. 1 is a chic basket like one of these market baskets from The Little Market. Sure, you could tote along an ice chest or cooler… But there is just something so sweet about packing your picnic the old-fashioned way. (Can you say Instagram opp?) And if you do need a little extra insulation for some of the more perishable items on your menu, simply tuck them into an insulated button bag from my XO(eco) collection, and then stow that inside your basket.
The next item on your picnic packing list should be a soft blanket or oversized towel. Look for something that has a large enough surface area for everyone to sit on, but is lightweight enough to fold down and fit in your basket with ease. In a pinch, an old bed sheet will do!
Lastly, bring along reusable outdoor dishware, utensils (like this folding flatware set), and food storage containers. Target always has a great selection of adorable melamine and plastic dishes. And if you’ll be sipping on an adult beverage, these portable stack ‘n go wine glasses may come in handy. And since I always try to keep things eco-friendly, I use my XO(eco) reusable storage bags in place of any disposable Ziploc baggies. They come in both a snack pack and sandwich size.
There are a few extra things that can make your picnic an even bigger success. One is a portable speaker like this one from Ban.do to blast your picnic playlist. You can also bring along a fun activity like supplies to make flower crowns or a deck of playing cards (William and I love playing gin rummy). And when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a Frisbee!
There you have it! I hope these tips come in handy.
I hope all of you have found that my Bikini Body Plan has helped you to feel healthy, exercise, and be confident this summer. I always find that sticking with a plan helps me to reach my goals when I’m trying to eat healthy and get in shape. The most important thing to take from any health plan is that it should become a lifestyle, not just a diet. So even though we only have a few months of summer left, today I’ll be sharing some tips to help you keep your healthy habits going all year round. If you need to brush up on the guidelines and tips of my plan first, click here and here.
Without further ado, here are some tips to maintain your beach body…