Outfit Inspired By 'Times' By 10th Avenue North with Lulu*s.com

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White Dancing Heels, Pearl Earrings: Thrifted.

I had a completely different song for this last outfit to be inspired by. I originally formulated which of some of my favorite songs I was going to pick to inspire outfits with Lulu*s back in Decemeber. And things have changed a lot since then and the song I picked to go with this outfit...doesn't feel right anymore. We love songs because we can relate to them. It's not just a steady beat, good vocals, and catchy lyics. Songs speak to us because they connect with our soul, our emotions, our thoughts. And up until a few days ago I was 100% sure of the song that inspired this outfit; but then it hit me. Things have changed. I have changed. This song didn't apply to my life anymore, my feelings. That it was time to let go and move on and there was a song that fit this outfit a million times better than the intentional one could have ever. 

Yesterday I wrote a post about trying to be a better person. Improving myself and all of my faults, facing my wrongdoings right in the face because I have too many of them to even count. My heart has been so heavy the past few weeks as I come to the realization of just how many sins I have, how they've taken over the person I'm supposed to be. I carried around this extreme guilt and I still am carrying around so much guilt. But one song helped take away some of that guilt and see things differently.

The song I chose for this outfit is Times by Tenth Avenue North. It is a Christian song and definitely not what I had planned doing an outfit inspired by. I'm a relatively new Christian and I'm in that shy, somewhat 'I'm not going to admit I am a Christian because you'll think I'm crazy' phase. I think God is a really touchy subject for anyone and especially for a fashion blog. So I usually don't say anything about my journey and the struggles I go through with growing in my faith.

This song is about about giving to God all that you are. Placing all of your sins before Him and asking for forgiveness and help. I don't deserve forgiveness for the things I've done, but Christ died for me so that my soul could be white as snow. So that all of the blackness that should be there, all of the ugliness that I've caused, is wiped away and I am born again into this beautiful being that He wants and made me to be. 

My outfit is entirely white to represent the forgiveness I've been given. My heart that is as white as snow. It's something that's so hard to grasp, but once you do it makes you cry with happiness and gratitude because it's the most beautiful gift anyone can give you. That all of this burden I've been carrying is gone, I am forgiven, and I don't have to wear my shame anymore. My outfit is ethereal to represent that I am God's beautiful and specially made daughter- just the way he sees me to be even though I might not see myself that way. My ring, I once picked for an enirely different reason for the original song now shows how broken my heart is, but with Christ it can be whole and healed. And it becomes just that every day I walk with Him.

Thank you so much everyone for reading this series and a huge thank you to Lulu*s for this awesomely fun opportunity. I appreciate everything all of you do for me!

With much love, Lauren.

P.S. Here are the other three outfits in case you missed them:
The A Team by Ed Sheeran
Firework by Katy Perry
Drops of Jupiter by Train

Be Better.

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I am by no means a bad person. But sometimes I really don't feel like I'm that good of a person. The thought has especially been bothering me as of late. I can't get out of my head all of the things I do wrong- whether it be living my life, my interactions with people, or even running this blog. I'm not really talking about 'not being good enough.' I'm talking about being a bad person in general.

I wonder if people look at me and judge me as a good or bad person. Most people would like to say that others would see them as a good person, and I would hope I could say the same thing. But I feel like if people really knew me,got a chance to be inside my head, they'd realize that I'm not that great. I'm not great at all in the slightest bit. I don't even think I'm okay. That I can be really gossipy, quick to judge personalities (and appearances), too emotional for my own good, unintentionally manipulative, lazy when it comes to social interactions. I am controlling and bring up the past too much. Easily give up and hold onto grudges far too long. I am vindictive, vengeful, and ill tempered. And all of this makes me so upset because it's so much to change and I don't even know where to start or how to start to change any of it.

At the end of my life, I want to feel like I was a good person. That what I said was what I meant to people. That didn't break promises. That I loved people with every ounce of my heart and didn't take advantage of them- ever, for any reason. I know as a human I am made to be imperfect and it's not the imperfections I want to fix. It's my wrongdoings and bad traits that I wish I could take an eraser and remove from my soul, heart, and mind.

For whatever reason, this has really been bothering me lately. I felt compelled to write about it. I feel like I write about the same feelings and thoughts over and over again, but this was a new and different feeling. It feels good to let it out. 

I hope I can start being a better person.

With much love, Lauren.

You're Where I Want To Be.

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It might surprise some of you that I've never gone anywhere for spring break. No tropical paradise. No cultured European city. Not even to a neighboring county in Ohio for a day of shopping. I've always spent my spring break right at home;and I'm content with that.

Sure, it would be nice to have those exciting spring break stories and memories. A deep tan and a natural smile from coming back from an exciting place. But staying home for spring break has a beautiful allure, as well, and having been away at college I'm looking forward now more than ever to spending a week there.

Laying in my familiar bed underneath layers of covers daydreaming the best daydreams and watching the sun glint through my dusty blinds. Hopping in my VW Bug and going photo adventuring to the depths of my favorite forest, where nature keeps her best kept secrets,allowing me to peek for a moment. Frequenting my favorite thrift store and picking up so many pairs of vintage high waisted shorts that I can't even carry them out of the store. Sitting in my favorite coffee shop downtown, where the alleys are brick and the buildings tell stories and my little foam leaf slowly disappears sip after sip. It all sounds like heaven to me, and when the Sunglasses Warehouse told me they were doing a post featuring bloggers and what they were doing for spring break, I didn't feel bad telling them that I was sticking around good ole Ohio. It may be boring, but it's the kind of boring I wouldn't change for anything.

So I'll be sporting these perfect cat eye sunglasses (c/o) buzzing to and fro with my moon roof open and a smile on my face. Less than a month guys. Less than a month

With much love, Lauren.

P.S. Check out the Sunglasses Warehouse 'Spring Break Guide' they did and along with why myself, and other bloggers, chose the sunnies we did ---->

Midwest Blogger Brunch.

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Hello everyone!
Yesterday I went to Cleveland with Jessica to a blogger meet up in Cleveland that Erin of Zero Style put on. We went to the Touch Supper Club for brunch were I got two chocolate chip pancakes bigger than my head, but delicious nonetheless. It was so nice to get to chat with all of the ladies and have them somewhat 'come to life' after following so many of their blogs.

After brunch we all skedaddled over to Sweet Lorain, a local vintage shop. Oh my gosh. Best vintage store I've been to hands down, and probably one of the best shops in general I've ever been to. I've never seen so much vintage. The variety and selection was phenomenal, hundred of dresses arranged by decade, season, and occasion. Walls of hats, racks upon racks of sweaters, cubby holes stuffed to the brim with glittering clutches and basket weaves purses. It was certainty a site to see. I was so enamored by the floral 50's dress above and was thisclose to getting it... I couldn't justify spending $68 though and was in quite a debate with myself. Sigh, if it's meant to be it will hang beautifully in my closet someday 

Before going back home, Jessica, Megan, and I stopped at 'Unique Thrift Store,' which was apparently voted the best thrift store of 2012? Hm. Anyways, I came out in typical Lauren style with a pair of white dance shoes. I don't know why I'm always thrifting dance shoes, but hey. What works, works. 

It was a lovely meet up all in all and I look forward to seeing these ladies hopefully again some day!

With much love, Lauren. 

P.S. A list of the ladies who attended if you'd care to check out their blogs!
Jessica of Midwest Muse
Karina of Beach and Dress 
 Megan of Kiddo TV 
 Dina of Dina's Days 
 Julie of Orchid Grey
 Mandy of The Curvy Blogger 
 Erin of Zero Style 
Liz of Yellow Finch

Like a Dove.

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Dove Dress: Forever21.
Pink Cardigan, Pink Loafers: Thrifted.
Beret: Target.

Hello everyone!
Today I went to a blogger meetup in Cleveland for brunch that was so wonderful. I have a bunch of snapshots and plan on writing about it soon in a separate post. This is what I wore though- my trusty old dove dress that I always love to pull out (but it sure has been awhile). And if you couldn't tell, I'm quite obsessed with these pink loafers. And this song

Hope your weekend was wonderful

With much love, Lauren.

 *Also thank you Jessica for taking these pictures!*

Human Trafficking.

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So the other day I didn't really have much to do and a friend asked me if I wanted to go see a documentary with her that was showing on campus. I didn't have anything better to do, so I said yes and asked her what the documentary was about. She told me, "human trafficking."

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a feminist. The one thing I actually get 'heated' over is women's rights and wanting not to be greater than a man, but his equal. Of course I've always known about human sex trafficking and been horrified by it, but for me that was happening in other countries. Not here in the United States. Not here in Ohio, a very typical Midwestern state. I didn't know how I could ever help these girls because what could I do? I can't even help myself. But after watching this documentary my eyes were opened wider than I ever expected them to be.

Two and a half hours away from where I go to college is Toldeo. Toldeo, Ohio is the third largest city for sex trafficking. Right here in my home state, thousands of girls much younger than me are being forced into slavery against their will, used and abused, thrown away and treated like absolute trash. They are not sluts or whores and should never be thought of those things because they didn't chose this life (and even if they did, it's most likely they want out of it). I know that as a normal teenage girl my self esteem has had its highs and lows throughout the years and I can't imagine what girls who are trafficked must feel like. It really is unimaginable.

In my five year relationship I was treated like garbage a lot of the time. Called names, having my actions controlled, my thoughts manipulated, my legs having bruises when he would sometimes 'playfully' punch me there. These little things messed me up so emotionally and psychologically. I often feel very worthless because he MADE me feel worthless. What I went to is not even 1/1000 of what these girls have to go through though and it breaks my heart.

So I watched this documentary called Nefarious: Merchant of Souls where they traveled to four different continents to try and better understand the global sex industry. It was shocking to watch how sex slaves are treated- nothing more than mere animals bought and sold and not given any amount of worth. I just cried and cried thinking about that girl half way across the world, who has hopes and dreams just like I do, who is forced to have sex with random men every day, for years. She must feel so worthless, so helpless, so in need of being loved. 

I don't know what I want to do, but I want to help these girls. Whether it be donating, spreading awareness, or maybe doing something larger than I can ever imagine someday. I just feel so connected to this cause and it has touched my heart is such a way I've never felt. 

Here is the trailer of the documentary if you'd like to watch. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. It's also available on DVD, and if you're a college student there's a way to get it to screen at your university. Just please...if you can watch this trailer which would take two minutes of your time I promise you won't regret it.

I know this is a 'fashion blog' and this post is pretty out of place, but I just felt so compelled to write about this. Thank you for reading

With much love, Lauren.

Life's Snapshots #25.

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Winter pastels.

The sweetest package from Britney!

A cup a cake.

Ohio is beautiful (sometimes).

 Moody Starbucks.

Dressed to kill.

Throw back Thursday of seeing Ed Sheeran!

The higher the heel the closer to God.

What a nutritious breakfast, heh.

You can always tell where I've been.

Ready for February.

 I had to give a speech so I wore red to boost my self confidence.

Beautiful Kent State University.

 NAV guys gave NAV girls flowers for Valentine's Day!

Family coffee dates are the best.

This is what dreams are made of.

Some of my thrift finds.

The only guy I need in my life.

A floral crown is soon in the works.

Just some instagram shots from the past few weeks. You can follow me with @passingwhimsies!

With much love, Lauren.
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