Summer Nautical.

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Striped Top, Red Shorts, Loafers: Thrifted.
Beret: Target.
Binocular Necklace: Giveaway Win.

Had to fit one last nautical look for summer in. Even though I wear sailor inspired pieces all year around, it just seems to fit so well with the summertime. Not that I was by too much water though. I frequented the pool a grand total of five times and that's even a stretch. The weather wasn't amicable this summer but, hey, what can ya do sometimes? I take what I can get in Ohio.

I've felt very inspired from an outfit standpoint since I've gotten here at Kent, but not so much from a writing standpoint. When writing in my journal every night, I find myself sitting there awhile, trying to think of what to write about. Even when I come on here and do new blog posts, I am always eager to post pictures but have been like, "what should I write about?" I'm in college writing this semester and my professor is literally p e r f e c t. I have the biggest girl crush on her. We'll be doing a lot of creative writing assignments, and we have to write straight for ten minutes every class period with no stopping. Not to mention she's making us use twitter for the class. Too awesome, right? So I'm hoping this class and my professor will really get me inspired and thinking to write again!

Until I see you soon again :)

With much love, Lauren.

Smile Big For Me.

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Lavender Sweater: c/o Lulu*s.
Watercolor Dress: c/o US Trendy.
Pearl Necklace: Forever21.
Hinder Flats: c/o Pink and Pepper. 

It can most definitely be awkward taking photos on campus out in the open. I think for any of us public photos can be a burden! I've learned throughout the years though that explaining what I'm ACTUALLY doing is just too hard and complicated. So, I usually just make something up that sounds more simple than I'm taking pictures of my outfit for my personal style blog and posting them for all the internet to see? Yeah, not so typical. Today a girl came up to me while I was taking these photos and asked if I was a photography major. Rather than explaining my speall, I just told her; " No, I'm not a photography major, but let's just pretend I am because that's a lot less strange than what I'm doing now." Her and I both had quite a good chuckle :)

Last night was the first worship session for NAVS this semester and it was just as wonderful as I could have hoped. It was strange for me to think back at this time last year; where I had not given my life to Christ yet. I think about how burdened I was just by life, and I want to go back and reassure that Lauren that soon (October!) all of her fears and past will melt away and she will be given a new life! Crazy that I didn't know what was in store for me yet and all of the blessings that would follow.

I have a four day weekend starting tomorrow; should be great! I'm thinking about trying out the pumpkin spice lattes that are back at Starbucks, going on a photo adventure, and getting out in the last bits of sunshine of summer before it starts getting cool and crisp ♥

With much love, Lauren.

Seeing Double.

12 comments
Polka Dot Pinafore: Forever21.
Polka Dot Blouse: c/o OASAP. 
Knee Highs: H&M.
Loafers: Thrifted.
Hat: Handmade (but not by me).
Lipstick in MAC's Russian Red.

I decided today I wanted to make all of ya'lls eyes hurt and do a little double dot action. Is it strange that I actually like this combination? Grandma and mom and cringing at home right now-- betcha ten bucks. 

I know it's a huge blogger no-no, but I do read GOMI. Even though my own thread popped up a few years ago after an immature post I wrote (well deserved I was on there), I've become less hateful towards the blogger criticism site. Not to say that I read my own thread because I don't. Like they say, if you can't handle the criticism, then don't read it, and I'm too soft hearted to read what they have to say about me. Anyways, me personally aside I think GOMI the actual site (not the threads) does an awesome, realistic job of putting bloggers in their place. Yesterday I read the latest post which was an open discussion in the comments--why do blogs go down hill? It's an interesting question, and not just as a blogger being curious but as a reader myself it makes me wonder sometimes; what has gone wrong with this blog I follow?

I know I don't follow a lot of the same blogs now that I did when I first started four years ago. It's not just a change in interest, but a lot of times something about the blog...really turned me off? How does this happen? Why does it happen? A lot of the commenters said that they get sick of blogs when they go completely sponsored and c/o, selling themselves and their readers out. Personally, I don't mind if a blogger has a lot of c/o. It makes them less relatable, yes, because they have an endless supply of new clothes which a NO normal person has, but it's not a reason for me to unfollow a blog. I think for me the reason a blog goes down hill can be when they're just blogging to blog. They've lost their inspiration, their passion. It's not so much as non-quality posting because every blogger has their own expectation of what is quality posting and what's not. But when you start to see a blogger just talk about the weather, how busy they are, the exciting things they have coming up to post...it gets kind of tedious and uninspiring. Like, I know you have more going on in your life than talking about the weather! Of course, explaining various changes of climate are essential in style blogging, but post after post after post is too much. You can tell when a blogger is blogging because they feel the need to--whether it to be they personally feel obliged or they feel the need to reach for more sponsors. I also think a big reason blogs go down hill is an attitude change. Being a blogger does not make me special. I don't care if I get invited to NYFW, get $1000's in clothing, or even get to meet a celebrity. Like, I post pictures of my daily outfits--I ain't out saving lives! It does not make me any better than anyone else and I should always remember that. As a blogger, I am not entitled to anything. I blog, it's a hobby, and that's that. When bloggers start to think they're this internet god, it's disappointing because I'll miss the humble gratitude they had before. 

I don't know. It's just an interesting topic to think about from a blogging and reading standpoint. There's no right or wrong opinion, and I think it's important to think about for our own blogs to improve them. If you all ever see me going in a direction you don't like--tell me! I tend to be very stubborn and easily hurt over criticism, but as I grow older it's getting easier to take as I realize it's only for my own benefit. So, like I said. If you all ever find something very wrong, bothersome, or off turning on my blog; email me. Leave a comment. Write a letter. I'd love to know so I can stay true to myself and on the right path!

Oh! Also. Thank you to all who gave me super helpful advice on ways to stay awake. I went and bought some apples tonight at the market and will start snacking on them like you suggested, and also plan on getting back into the pool to swim again soon. I value all of your opinions very much so thank you ♥

With much love, Lauren.

Bring on Fall.

19 comments

Lace Orange Dress: Fig Leaf.
Infinity Scarf: Target.
Pearl Bracelets, Bow Belt: Forever21.
Wine Purse: Thrifted.
Oxfords: c/o Lulu*s.
Lipstick in Revlon's 'Wine Not.'

Hello there! 
I finished up going to all of my new classes today and I have to say I am very pleased with my schedule this semester. I don't really have any class I dislike yet, but feel very excited about all of them! I went to Fabrics today which I think I'm going to love (and would love it even more if it wasn't so early in the morning, eugh). It's a lab and lecture learning from top to bottom about all fabrics. Yawn for most people, but I'm lame and find it interesting. I also went to child psychology and college writing today; both were fantastic! To be honest, I was dreading college writing because although I enjoy writing, I am not one to like papers and such. The professor is literally THE COOLEST one I've ever had though. Seriously, she is my dream professor and I have a major girl crush on her. 

Although school and classes are going well, one thing really kind of upset my day. Since I started my OCD medication back in my senior year of high school, a huge side effect is drowsiness. I would come home from high school and sleep for five hours and still be tired when I went to bed. The side effects have still not worn off, even though they are supposed to lessen with time, and I had a rough time last year, as well. I was constantly taking naps between classes just to feel better. I was hoping this year I would be able to cope better, but I ended up sleeping for three and a half hours this evening on accident. It's so upsetting because I feel lazy and like I waste so much time that I could be working. It also makes me so frustrated because I could have been spending that time with friends, making new ones, or just enjoying this time at Kent now that I'm back. Instead I was locked in my dorm sleeping? It's incredibly upsetting to me and I don't want this to be a sign at how the rest of the year will go. Do you all have any good suggestions on fighting drowsiness and staying awake? I would say coffee, but to be honest coffee has the opposite effect on me and makes me even sleepier. Any help would be so, so appreciated! 

Hope you all are well. Cherish and love each one of you! x

With much love, Lauren.

Back to Kent.

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Army Green Tank: c/o Lulu*s.
Floral Shorts: Forever21.
Pink Beret: Target.

Hello, hello from Kent, every body!
I'm back to my neck of the woods (har-har) taking outfit photos! It feels really wonderful to be back. I think the biggest part of my worries was feeling, and I know this will sound strange, but like it was all a dream. I was starting to feel as though Kent had never happened and it was just some dream I'd had. But since being back it feels like I never left. I'm very comfortable in my new dorm and I love it even more than my dorm from last year. Moving in was quite stressful, as it always is, but I won't have to worry about it now for another year. I'm looking forward to showing you all some photos of my new room--it's a single so I get to decorate it however I like!

My dorm this year is just on the other side of the woods I took pictures at last year, so you all get to continue to see this beautiful patch of faux woods at Kent State. This is what I wore for my first day of classes today-- something fairly casual. It's surprising because in years past I would dress up as fancy as I could to make a good impression, and although it is important to put some effort into your appearance, it shouldn't be like I used to do. What I did was unhealthy and I obsessed too much using dressing up as a way to make me feel better about my insecurities. I am very happy I can comfortably dress down and still feel like myself, not feeling like I have to impress or out do anyone.

I am so happy you guys! Can't wait to talk to you all again soon and keep you updated on what I'm doing around here! x

With much love, Lauren.

At Peace.

3 comments

Tomorrow I embark back to Kent for my Sophomore year of college. I had to visit my beautiful nature center once more by myself before I leave at 8 tomorrow morning. My feelings on leaving are very different than last year and I suppose it's hard for me to admit that. All I wanted to do was leave last year and not look back on this town, all of the people in it, and the memories it held for me. I had no problem of never coming back again and for the first six months every time I came back I hated it. 

But as the weeks have come to go back to Kent this summer I found myself not being so anxious to leave as I was last year. This  summer I have such an appreciate for this town that I never knew before leaving for college. I am sad to leave. Actually sad. People ask me if I'm excited to go back and although I always say that I am, there is a little part of me that feels at such peace and comfort here.

What I've learned in the past year is you can not run away from where you're from. You cannot simply say "I'm not ever coming back here, sayonara" As humans we will always have an attachment to where we grow up and I am no different. I feel a deep sadness in leaving tomorrow I didn't expect. I got a chance to connect with high school friends in more meaningful relationships than I thought I had. I was given an incredible job opportunity, something that solidified my love for my major (and I would have never though this would happen in my hometown). I've repaired broken, shattered relationships that I thought were hopeless and they now have a light and hope to them again. I've connected to God here which I never have and finally, come to the appreciation of a place I never had appreciation for. Even though I can't say I really did much this summer, in a way, looking back I did a lot. Not on the outside, but on the inside I've grown this summer where I thought I would have receded and deteriorated.

I will miss my sweet nature center so much. It's the one place I can't imagine never visiting again. I am over come by peace there and happiness. It makes me so sad to miss its little changes while I'm away. The gradual turning of the leaf colors, the fading of the flowers, the trails being beaten down by the feet of adventurers and dreamers. Feet that won't be mine really for another nine months. I took my favorite coffee drink today and walked along the trails hitting all of my favorite places. The lily pond; the watch tower; the creek with skimmers; the bridge with my name and his name carved on it still; and all the other nooks and crannies that are sacred to me since starting to come almost four years ago. 

It sounds strange, but I felt like the old Lauren again. I don't know exactly who the old Lauren is and I don't know how she's exactly different but I felt like her again tonight in the best way. I can only explain it as a naivety and childish sense of hope and happiness. So care free, running through those woods again before so much happened and so much changed these past few years. It was wonderful to meet that Lauren again and feel her.

I am nervous and scared tomorrow despite knowing that Kent is my REAL home and the place where all of my dreams and happiness lie. I don't know why I have this hesitation, this fear. But I'm admitting it's there. The fear of failing and the fear of unknown of my life, despite things being known (if that makes sense). I can't wait to be reunited with my friends tomorrow-- I think I'll cry with happiness to see their sweet faces. 

After visiting my nature center I am at peace tonight for whatever happens tomorrow and whatever happens this coming school year. God is truly in control.

With much love, Lauren.

Smart Bomb Cosmetics!

3 comments
Growing up makeup was never my forte. I didn't start wearing it until my sophmore year of high school and even then very minimally. Since starting my blog I've grown to love makeup not as a way to hide imperfections, but to have fun--the same way I do with clothing. In the past year or so I've started getting into more 'higher end' brands like MAC and Benefit and it's been interesting to test the quality difference from drugstore brands. In my town there is a local boutique called Posh and the owner, Laura, has her own cosmetics line. Not like she simply carries it in her store, but that she has come up with all of the formulations, colors, packaging, names. Everything. I was over the moon excited when she contacted me to possibly do a review on some of her (incredibly extensive) line of all natural cosmetics called Smart Bomb. I am so excited to help out local businesses in my home town and I know truly how much hard work goes into starting a business from the ground up after studying about it in school. 

So! Without further ado I was given seven products to try out. Here are my impressions + thoughts on what I think of everything ♥

I've been searching for the perfect pinky blush for years and was going to purchase one from MAC before I tried this out. This Smart Bomb blush was very soft to the touch since it has jojaba oil in it, as well as, anti-aging ingredients (which I don't need quite yet but it's never too late to start!). I found it to be thee perfect pink I'm looking for where it gives that glowing affect on the cheeks and is very subtle but pretty. It came in an easy and convenient compact with a mirror great for touch ups!

About mid way through last year I began getting into watching beauty videos on YouTube and I always saw them talk that using a toning spray was essential. A toning spray basically is used to set your makeup after you put it on and to use as a refresher throughout the day. I wish I could get this toning spray in a perfume because it smelt that good--if you like roses this is for you. It felt very cool and refreshing when sprayed on and dried to a matte finish. I found it did help my makeup stay on better throughout the day, but I did have to use this once or twice again in the day to reset. 

You all know I love me some lipstick! It is my favorite cosmetic to use, so I was incredibly excited to try this out! There are 17 different colos of 'sweet talk' lipsticks Smart Bomb carries and I was given Posh to try out--a soft, muted pink. The packaging was very sleek and secure unlike Limecrime tubes I've had in the past where they cracked and felt very flimsy. All of them are a matte formula but I honestly wouldn't even notice because it felt very creamy going on. I am a sucker for MAC lipsticks and my favorite formula of theirs is matte, but it does tend to be drying. This was not, however, in the least bit which I found surprising! The color was flattering for a blue toned pink which tend to not look good on me. I wore it in this outfit post!

Ah! I love the name of the Smart Bomb lip glosses. 'You're such a smart mouth' cracks me up :) I am not a lipgloss person at all. I don't own one so I was weary to try this, but Laura insisted it wasn't like normal lip glosses. I don't like sticky, I don't like overly obvious shiny lips, but this formula is actually a lip gloss/lipstick formulation. It's in the form of a lip gloss and applies like one, but I found it to have great staying power like a lipstick. I know this sounds weird (like, really weird), but it tastes so good I love having it on my lips. That's a big problem I have with lip products in general is the crayon like taste they tend to have. Couldn't find a trace of it in this nudey pink lip gloss. I have a feeling when I have a boyfriend someday he'll love this stuff as much as me!

Like the toning spray I have never tried a high lighter either. This one had pretty flecks of gold shimmer in it and I liked that it wasn't completely white like most high lighters I've seen. Instead it was a warm, sunnier color. Laura told me to put it under my eyes to look more awake and at the top of my cheekbones to accentuate them. I found it definitely brightened up my face upon using, but I don't think my cheek bones are defined enough in general to notice the difference on top of them. Baby face forever!

This product is from God himself. Seriously. Laura created the whole formulation for this skin care product herself (actually all of them) and it is so impressive. A little bottle, what could it do, right? This stuff is a miricale worker. The Smart Attack Serum is an acne spot treatment that works wonders. I literally dab a little bit of this oil on any problem pimple I'm having and I kid you not, it is significantly reduced or GONE by morning. Incredible. I've tried lots of acne spot treatments before and this is the only one that has truly worked. Since having tried it, I don't think I'll ever go without and plan on purchasing for the rest of my life. I will never live without this miricale bottle! If you have any trouble with acne or just an occasional break out-- please give this a shot. You will not be disappointed!

After the Smart Attack Serum this is probably my second favorite product. When Laura tried it on me in the store I was blown away by how beautiful this mineralized pressed power foundation made my skin look. I don't have GREAT skin. It's pretty average to slightly below average. I don't have terrible acne but I do get occasional pimples along with my skin being very uneven in tone, lots of pores, and definite scarring from when I used to pick as a pre-teen. This powder took all of that away and created a beautiful, air brushed look. Now that's what foundation is supposed to do!

I know when bloggers do reviews it can be hard as a reader to know if they are being honest or not because the products were gifted to them; but, I am truly blown away by this company. Laura has been working on her cosmetic line for 10+ years and been involved with makeup for even a decade more. I've found these products to be very satisfying along with beautifully presented and decadently smelling, tasting, feeling. I am just so in love with all this company stands for-- independently owned, retro, feminine, organic, and has a real, inspiring story behind it. Smart Bomb has many other products to look into like skin care, eye shadows, and even a perfume scent that Laura created herself. 

Here is the Smart Bomb Website//Instagram//Facebook if you are interested!

Thank you so much to Laura and Smart Bomb for allowing me the pleasure to try these products out! ♥

With much love, Lauren.
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