Little black…bloopers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAseriously don’t even know what he was thinking.
Casual Tee + Cardigan

Every time you see a fantastic blog photo it stirs up emotions. Awe could be one of them, but it can quickly turn downhill to jealousy and depression stemming from the unrealistic perfection that is so blatantly laid out before us. Take a breath and listen.

During a photo shoot, we literally take over a hundred pictures (sometimes over 200!) to get five to ten really great shots. Make a stupid face? Delete. Booger hanging out your nose? Gone. Those are the realities that readers never see and it can sometimes make us feel like we are less than we should be.

So I’m here, keeping it real! Here are my monthly bloopers, unedited and proudly brought to you by my husband. Enjoy! 😀

Graphic Tee + Leggings Travel Outfit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsometimes it helps to loosen up before a shoot!
Pin-Up Inspired 4th Outfit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhen your husband is your photographer and you love him…
Stripes + Wedges

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA…when your husband is the photographer and you hate him
Black Bodycon + Stripes

I hope this post has given you a laugh and some assurance that not every blogger has the perfect house, the perfect body or the perfect life. Check back next month for another round of bloopers!

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Eat Well + Stay Thin


Before I lose you, this is not your typical “eat this, not that” post – this is a realistic, manageable way to eat what you want and lose weight (or maintain). I know because this is exactly how I lost 30 pounds.

Eat what you want.
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Cute. If that quote is floating around your mind, lure it out with peanut butter, catch it and set it on fire. Twice. I hate when people say “you shouldn’t be eating that”. Says who? Why limit yourself to five bland, monotonous meals to repeat for the rest of your life. Eat what satisfies (notice I didn’t say what fills you to bursting) you, not what someone else tells you is good for you.

Now pull it back a bit.
Didn’t I just say you could eat what you want? Yes, I did and yes, you can. In moderation. Unless you have an incredible metabolism, don’t expect to eat gobs of doughnuts every morning, massive burgers for lunch, mountains of pasta for dinner and polish it all off with dessert every single night. You have to exercise some sort of control. That being said, I have had days where my meals went: doughnut, burger, pizza, ice cream and I still came in at my calorie limit. You can have it all, but be mindful of how much.

For reference:
Krispy Kreme Original Doughnut & Coffee= 310 cal
McDouble = 390 cal
Domino’s Large Pepperoni Slice = 300 cal
1/2 cup Chocolate Ice Cream w/ Cone = 130 cal

That’s only 1130 calories. You’d have 70 calories left for a snack if you’re on a 1200 calorie diet – 370 calories left if you’re on a 1500 calorie diet.

The easiest tip to follow that cuts loads of calories is stop eating when you’re no longer hungry or you feel satisfied. Notice I didn’t say, “stop eating when you’re full”. It takes your body 15 to 20 minutes to send fullness signals to your brain, so if you’re still eating when you start to feel full you’ll actually end up feeling uncomfortably stuffed.

Didn’t do so hot for a meal? Swap out a later meal for a super healthy option or (here comes the backlash, but hear me out) skip your next meal. I recently went out to a later breakfast on Father’s Day and overdid it. I ate so much I was not hungry when lunch time came, instead I had an afternoon snack and ate a regular dinner. Another option is to add in some additional exercise. Compensation is not ordering a large Triple Whopper Meal and opting for a Diet Coke. Jus’ sayin.

Eat cupcakes for breakfast.
Growing up my dad always got on us about eating leftover pizza for breakfast saying, “that’s not breakfast food”. So what determines what you can eat for what meal? You do. You want that cupcake for breakfast? Have it. Want a fudge sundae instead of dinner? Fudge it up. In my opinion, it is far better to eat what you’re craving than to eat a well rounded meal and then go back and eat it anyway.

Add fruits and veggies.
I’ll be honest. No, my diet isn’t every nutritionists’ dream diet. I’d go as far to say I’ve probably horrified some of them off this site. “She’s destroying her body!” Tell that to the 30 pounds. In all seriousness, because my main food choices aren’t always low calorie I add in loads of fruits and veggies to help bulk out my meals and stay full.

Aim for healthier choices.
Just because you can eat pizza and burgers all the time and still lose or maintain, doesn’t mean you should. Lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and veggies are good for you and they don’t have to taste boring. My not so healthy days tend to be my busiest days – sometimes I don’t even have ten minutes to prep and eat a meal and I don’t beat myself up for it. Start small and build up your smart food choices until your diet is about 80% “clean”.

Meal prep.
Have a busy week coming up? Whittle out an hour or so to prep some healthy meals and snacks. My husband and I like to cook up bulk chicken on the grill so we have some all week for lunches and dinners when we’re too busy or tired to cook. I currently own these divided containers. Unlike other bento style boxes, all the compartments can be removed from the main container if you need to microwave one section without microwaving the whole box. They also sell two different snack boxes in the same style – a two compartment and a four compartment, which are perfect for items like carrots and hummus or apples and peanut butter!

Cut yourself some slack.
I do this in two ways. One: I allow myself to have treat items on a daily basis so long as they fit into my calories. Two: Cheat day. One day a week I don’t watch what I eat at all and allow myself whatever I want. My entire family knows I do this and my mom often asks me when she sees me loading my plate up, “cheat day?”.

Did I miss something? What are your tips?

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Smithville Travel Guide + Jamboree


“First I Drink the Coffee” Tee similar here / Levi’s 501 Shorts in Roadside Blues / Nine West Zipper Satchel similar here / Tommy Hilfiger T Strap Sandals similar here / Circus by Sam Edelman Gray Sunglasses similar here


Loose Maxi Dress / Lace Up Gladiator Sandals similar here / Nine West Zipper Satchel similar here / Circus by Sam Edelman Gray Sunglasses similar here


Tee Dress similar here (this was a Goodwill find for $3!) / Tommy Hilfiger T Strap Sandals similar here / Christian Siriano Cassie Satchel / Oversized Black Sunglasses

We’ve spent the past five days in and around Smithville, Tennessee. Two things that stood out to me immediately are 1) the weather is insane and 2) the ladies of Tennessee are some incredibly stylish ladies!

We were disappointed that every time we managed to get to the Jamboree, we were rained out. It would be bright blue skies one minute and the next we’d turn around to a black wall creeping up behind the steeple. We did, however, see some amazing places, hear some incredible music and eat some delicious food!


The food, the crafters, the music. Incredible. I have never seen so many talented people in one place in my life. The rain made it difficult, if not impossible, for us to stay as long as we wanted, but that’s Tennessee (or so I hear).

The three vendors that are sticking out in my mind (one of them will forever – he’s just that kind of guy!) are Rotten Roger, Dave Washburn and there was a lady selling the most beautiful broken china pendants but she packed up before I could grab her business card.


Rotten Roger is quite the character! He is the most charming and talented musician I have ever come across and the only vendor at the Jamboree that really seemed to attract all kinds of people from all walks of life. He makes cigar box and bedpan (yes, really and they’re called Stratocrappers!) guitars. We loved them so much, my husband bought one and is just tickled to death to learn how to play it.

Dave Washburn. This guy is an incredible artist! My  husband and I have started collecting caricatures of the two of us anywhere we can and I have plans to create a caricature wall as an art installment in our house. The thing we love most about caricatures are that every one is different because all the artists have different styles and visions of what they want you to look like. Our current favorites are the one from the Jamboree and the one from my husbands’ cousins’ wedding who made us into merpeople!

My third and final favorite was a lady who makes the most beautiful pendants from old china plates. I looked through them all twice and went back the third time to see about buying one and to get her card and she had vanished. I suppose the weather got to her and she left early. Lesson learned – always get the business card before you walk away. Her jewelry was similar to this.

Congrats to all the winners! You all are so talented!



Rock Island State Park
The first day of the festival was incredibly hot – we ended up bailing about 1pm to cool off in the lake. I’m not sure if it was because we were there on a weekday or that its’ a bit out of the way, but we were one of three or four groups of people at the beach. There is a two tier picnic pavilion, the beach was pretty clean and the lake was perfect for swimming. There is a hike down to the falls but we weren’t prepared for that and opted to skip it.


Edgar Evins State Park
This park was also pretty unpopulated. We did a short half mile hike and bummed around the day use peninsula at the upper end of the park, watching the boats and geese float on by. The park seemed more popular for boating and fishing than anything else, but a nice stop to escape the bustle.


We ate at a bunch of really different places all through Smithville, Cookeville and McMinnville, so I’ll only share my favorites here.

Collins River BBQ & Cafe in McMinnville
Oh. My. Word. I will readily admit I was so surprised at this little restaurant. I ordered the Brisket Wrap- (brisket, beans, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce in a jalapeno cheddar tortilla) it was to die for! If you are in the area, I highly recommend slipping in to try it out.

Blue Coast Burrito in Cookeville
This super popular restaurant is similar to Chipotle. Pick your item, pick your meat and fixins and bam, fantastic lunch. There was a constant flow of people through the restaurant while we were eating lunch, so you know it’s good!

Hibachi4Hire (vendor at the Jamboree, based out of Antioch)
Both my husband and I ate here at the Jamboree. I have to admit I wasn’t feeling it because I really did not want hot food when I was already hot, but when they handed my husband his order and I took a bite – I immediately got back in line and got my own. It was all hibachi rice – vegetable, shrimp, steak, chicken. Slightly pricey, but well worth it in flavor and portion!

Cheddar’s in Cookeville
Yes, I know it’s a chain, but we don’t have one where we live. As a matter of fact, the closest one to us is a two hour drive one way. We loved it so much in Tennessee that on our way back home, we stopped at a different Cheddar’s for lunch and everything was just as amazing.

Thinking about going to Smithville next year for the jamboree? I highly recommend it!

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COFFEE TEE roadside blues sandals BLACK SATCHEL sunglasses



Let’s start this off with a bang…

stitch hi

Yes, that is literally the first thing that came into my mind when I sat down to write my introduction post.

I’m Laura. I’m basically a total fruitcake and you’ve managed to stumble into my dark corner of the internet – lucky you! I am a million things – stay at home wife, extreme couponer, crafter, chef, genealogist and a chronic shopper, to name a few. I love white teapots, The Munsters and old, dirty places. I am definitely not your run of the mill human being girl.

Petite Noir is a space for me to use my fruitcakeyness creativity to bring some light to others via my budget-friendly personal style. You read all sort of tips out there about having a “niche” – forget that. I am my niche. Who I am and what I do on a daily basis is my style; it’s all about feeling beautiful and being adaptable.

I want you to feel at home here. Ask questions. Send me some suggestions. Leave a quirky comment. I promise to try to bring as much light to your life as possible be that through my fashion and beauty budget tips, a tried and true recipe or a peek inside my life. Grab a cup and stay awhile.