Lush Haul 2016.

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Hello everyone!

I've been a fan for Lush for years, but its far proximity from me has limited what I've been able to try. Over Christmas break I went to pick up some things with a bit of Christmas money I had, and thought I'd do a little haul for you all since it's 1) so pretty and 2) they have a few new things for 2016! I really enjoy watching hauls on YT/seeing posts so I hope you all enjoy this. x

Rose is perhaps my favorite scent of all time. This bath bomb fizzes a bit, but the real show stopping part is the delicate rose buds that float in your bath when it's done. So romantic and soothing!


I actually haven't tried this bath bomb out but I'm really eager to! I've read many good things about it online. It boasts a refreshing peppermint scent (I'm always getting headaches so this really soothes me), and flashes of bright colors. Looking forward to using after a long day for a pick me up!


Although I am a huge bath person, I must admit I am not into bubbles. I've always had bad reactions to them since I was a little girl (see #femaleissues), so discomfort has always detoured me away from their frothy goodness. I was cautious to try this bubble bar, but it was said to be soothing so I thought I'd give it a go. Very pleased with it! I didn't have any ~issues~ after and it made my skin silky soft. Not to mention the water turns a shimmery baby blue. Good for 3 uses.


Another item from my haul I've yet to try (I'm sorry, I like to ration things as long as possible!), but am looking forward to. Nothing relaxes me more than being immersed in nature, so I thought why not combine two of my fave relaxation locations together to create an ultimate soothing experience? This bath bomb is said to envelop you in ethereal green waters with shimmering specks sparkling all around. Sounds lovely indeed. 

Mask of Magnaminty//$13.95-$25.95.
I've been wanting to try a Lush mask for ages, and thought carefully before selecting this one. I have pretty problematic skin, so I wanted something to draw out those impurities and cleanse my face. Wow, does this do the trick! I've been applying this to my face every night and have noticed a tremendous difference. The tingling feeling assures me that deep down my skin is being cleaned, and it looks so bright and refined once I wash it off. The smell is so relaxing and feels like such a treat to use. 10/10 would recommend.


What are some of you Lush favorites? I want a list of things I should try for next time I am there! x

With much love, Lauren.

Drink Coffee, Create, & Sleep.

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Black Jeans (similar): Target.
Patent Bow Flats (high end/ low end): Thrifted.
Black Cardigan (very similar): Thrifted.
Wide Brimmed Hat (similar & on sale): c/o OASAP (old).

The first week of my semester is over and I must say, I'm quite pleased with the courses I'm taking. All I have left to finish are four classes before I will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in fashion merchandising and a minor in fashion media! Two courses I'm taking are for my major and two are for my minor. Three of them are writing intensive courses which, surprisingly, makes me very excited of what's to come. For a few good years now I've been very discouraged with my writing and have felt it lacked the maturity and clarity I wished to come across. Part of that is because I've not taken any writing courses to improve it, and another is contributed to the fact that old habits die hard for me. 

I realize my writing can be very convoluted and word heavy to the point that the meaning is completely lost or misconstrued. I'm hoping that through these courses my writing may become much more refined so that the truly passionate ideas I have may come across more efficient and effective. Additionally, I'm taking a journalistic writing course which is very exciting! I've been toying with the idea of trying to get into publishing after graduation, and the one thing that has stopped me from completely pursuing it is my lack of knowledge of journalistic writing. It's a monster of its own quite different from writing for pleasure or even writing English essays. I hear the professor is quite hard, but I believe it's what I need in order than I may succeed. I'm also taking a fashion publishing class where I will, of course, learn all about the art of magazines! 

I know this semester will be a lot of truly challenging, formative work. For the first time is quite awhile in my studies I am hungry for the knowledge beyond what I know and look forward to expanding upon my skills into the next level of my work.

Hope you all survived the snow this weekend! Luckily (for once) Ohio didn't get hit. x

With much love, Lauren.

Make Summer Clothes Work for Winter.

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Polka Dot Romper (similar): Thrifted.
Grandpa Sweater (very similar): Thrifted.
Pendant Necklace (very similar): Thrifted.
Red Boater (identical to mine!): Thrifted.
Black Lace Up Boots (similar): H&M (old).

 Hello there everyone

 Piles of my clothes end up in dust collecting depths of my closet for approximately 2/3 of the year due to imperfect weather conditions. Every single one of us has made the excuse, "oh this item will be perfect for when it's exactly 80 degrees with no humidity and on the beach. Wonderful, I'll by it!" And then, how often are you REALLY in the midst of an 80 degree, zero humidity, beach day? Perhaps one to two days a year, and if you live in Ohio, exactly none!

Wearing the same drab and stuffy winter pieces for months can grow incredibly repetitive and uninspiring. I've tried to manage throughout the years to not completely waste the versatility that warmer weather clothes can offer to my circulating wardrobe. Case and point: this romper. I thrifted it the other day and envisioned it being the perfect lazy day piece to romp (har har) around on a hot summer day in, whilst sipping a refreshing iced coffee. The snow outside and single digit temp had my dream squashed in about 2 seconds flat. 

After some consideration though and a little maneuvering to style it differently than I instinctively would, I made this sweet little romper work for winter! Adding some fleece lined tights underneath and a cozy grandpa sweater kept me from freezing & got me out of my style box for a day. Even layering a jacket on top of this sweater wouldn't be a bad idea for colder days, and a contrasting scarf in a nice plaid would make a quirky statement. x

Hope ya'll have a lovely weekend!

With much love, Lauren.

Re(d)pertoire

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Denim Shirt Dress (very similar): Thrifted.
Red Down Coat (very similar & over 50% off!): Aeropostale.
Black Boots (similar): JCP.
Yellow Beanie (similar): c/o OASAP.

With the precise swipe of a crimson hue across my lips, it seems my confidence level can soar to unseen heights in a matter of moments. I can be anyone with the engaging symbol of womanhood catching the eyes of those I come across, whom gaze curiously at my lips. An elegant and sophisticated Audrey Hepburn. Seductive and audacious Dita Von Tease. Or even coy and feminine girl hero Taylor Swift. Although I am a mixture emulating all these ladies when I wear red lipstick, I also step into a persona only of myself. A switch is calibrated that takes my meek disposition and turns it into someone who is sure of herself and her abilities.

I've often (not really, but just a tiny bit), thought it would be more useful if I just tattooed a red lip on rather than constantly re apply, check for smudging, and pay up for tubes upon tubes of pristinely pointy playthings. Hey, it would save a lot of hassle in the long run! But something tells me I would miss the satisfaction of applying that perfect outline to my cupid's bow then round and about my full bottom lip. There is no satisfaction quite like that of an impeccably done pout. x

With much love, Lauren.

Without an End or Beginning.

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Grey Ruffle Dress (identical!): Modcloth.
Grey Pea Coat (similar): Delia's (very old).
Faux Fur Scarf (identical & it's so warm!): Gift.
Beanie (very similar): Thrifted (but from JCrew)
Textured Socks (similar, only $6): Thrifted.
Boots (similar): Thrifted.

 Bundling up in monochromatic layers in the cold, cold outdoors. This coat is mega old and one of the first pieces I owned when I began getting interested in fashion. It was my coat in the 7th grade and I was so proud of it because it was more fashion forward than the shapeless, puffy coats I'd worn in years past (which are ironically in fashion now, ha). It's a little small now, but it's nice to have a different piece of outwear than my regular coat to mix things up with my outdoor shots.

Hope you all are well! x

With much love, Lauren.

First Snow.

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Genuine Suede Red Guess Jacket (similar): Thrifted.
Long T-Shirt Tunic (very similar): Thrifted.
Black Jeans: Target.
Black Heeled Boots (very similar & only $40!): Thrifted.
Plaid Scarf: (identical) Markets in Florence.
Lipstick in MAC's Russian Red.

Snow has finally hit Ohio. I've been chuckling at ya'lls confusion of the lack of snow that compliments my own. You all are familiar with having seen my photos in years past quite snowy well before now, and it's been a perplexing (albeit relieving) absence. However, I knew that the snow wouldn't be at bay for long, and we had our first real bout of it a few days back. Since then, the days have been so frigid I haven't left the house but for coffee, and as soon as I come back in I burrow myself underneath a stack of blankets so high that the princess in the pea would be jealous. I have not missed you winter.

I'm going back to school  this weekend to finish my last semester and I've got to say besides missing my family (a given), I'm so sad to be leaving behind my town's thrift stores! This month long break has brought about so many thrifted treasures I cannot believe the luck I've had. My new wardrobe has grown twofold of more classic, subdued pieces than of my past, and I've collected an array of little trinkets that forgo the plans I had to become a 'minimalist' over this break, ha. Vintage sewing patterns full of color; delicate and wildly romantic bustiers; intricate glass plates for placing treasures upon; worn in books with pages dog eared; and a brilliant little floral diorama to add to my collection are just some of my favorites. The thrift stores in Kent & northern Ohio I've found just don't compare, but the comforting fact is that home will always welcome me back with alcoves of hidden treasures for me to discover. Now & always. x

With much love, Lauren.

How to Edit Your Instagram Photos to Look Vintage.

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I think one of the most common questions I recieve is how I edit my instagram photos! I never want to be one of those bloggers who has this ~top secret~ way of editing photos, so I thought it might be helpful if I wrote up a little post on how I edit to create more vintage looking photographs for instagram.

I don't use a ton of super fancy apps that cost a lot of money: all I use is afterlight which is $.99 and well worth it. I know a lot of people use a similar app called vsco cam, but I just find after light easier to use!

FILTER
--First I select a photo from my camera roll in afterlight and usually apply a filter first. Filters are located on the third icon in the screen, and there you're given even more categories. There's tons of filters to sift through, but a few of my favorites are in:

guest ---> Russ, Idaho, Brightfire
original ---> Ash, Whim, Hollow

I hardly ever use the filter to it's full strength, and usually tone it down a bit with the adjustable bar.


ADJUSTMENTS
--Next I'll play with the finer tuned adjustments of the photo once I have my base filter set. This is the second button in the afterlight screen.I don't adjust all these things; just a few!

--I always sharpen the photos since they tend to loose quality going from my computer to phone
--Most times I'll brighten them as well because we react better to lighter, more white photos.
--Sometimes I'll up the contrast to add more depth to the photo and to combat the brightness adjustment
--Occasionally I'll add some grain if I want to

SPECIAL EFFECTS
--This is my favorite part of editing the photos and why afterlight is great. With the fourth button you can add various dusty overlays or light leaks that really can fill up negative space or add interest to a photo.

After I'm done editing in afterlight, I'll save the photo to my phone and upload it to instagram! I know that seems like a lot of steps up there, but once you get the hang of the look you like it takes about two minutes to do all the adjustments to get your desired style. 

I don't particularly utilize many of the editing features instagram has when you go in the app, but one I always do is to add a color filter. If you go into the paint bucket option, I consistently use the second to last which adds a turquoise tint over the photos. I find that it just adds a really nice color overlay since my photos tend to be really warm toned & I like to balance it with cool. 

That's it! Hope this helps you all and inspires you maybe to try out editing your photos a different way. Half the fun of posting on instagram in my opinion is editing it to make it your own :)

With much love, Lauren.

Dilapidated Daze.

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Cream Sweater (very similar): Thrifted.
Plaid School Girl Skirt (similar): Thrifted.
Vintage Salvatore Ferragamos (similar from Ferragamo): Thrifted.
Navy Miniture Backpack (similar high end/similar low end): Thrifted.
Pearl Drop Earrings (similar & only $15!): Thrifted.

My home town is not the most sparkling of towns. It's rather dilapidated, poverty stricken, and exhausted to put it kindly. It was once a beautiful, effervescent diamond in the heart of Ohio (often it's nickname), and I've seen images of it in the early first parts of the 20th century looking radiant. It seems sometimes it's not even my town. The old diner on the corner still looks the same from the 1925 photo, but around it time has worn down and weathered this incredible city where its people once thrived. Part of the reason is because we are located in the rust belt where this part of Ohio was the great industrialized machinery producing items for the nation's population. Industry thrived and hopeful people set out for this town in droves to work in the beating heart of the nation's production facilities. Automotives, appliances, metals, and more were produced in such quantities I don't even think most of us could comprehend the efficiency. 

However, times change and in the 50's we started into our decline as a city trapped in the rust belt. Industries that were once so greatly in demand declined and labor force moved to the south where the labor was willing to work for less. This left towns like mine desolate and desperate, declinging even into the 2000's and resting at a haunting standstill of desperation today.

I used to resent my town greatly growing up because I don't think I understood it. All I saw was the brokenness of this place and how it ensnared me in its grasp. Like all broken things, there is a reason for the brokeness, and once you understand it, you may see the beauty underneath. I enjoy coming back to my home lately because as I've grown older, the once depressing scenes of a fragmented, eccentric city bring me comfort like my favorite vintage dress does. It has  lived, it has been loved, and it has a story. Every story deserves to be heard and it helps reveal to us perhaps even things didn't know about ourselves. x

With much love, Lauren.
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