See Ya, 2013!

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♥ HELLO EVERYONE! ♥

So excited yet sad that this is my last post of 2013. Nostalgia hits me like a wrecking ball this time every year (har har har). But in all seriousness, I am clutching onto 2013 with my finger tips. I don't want to see this year go, in all honesty. It was the best year of my life, hands down and that's not something I say every year. 2012 was super rough for me. I was still in high school, went through a really bad break up, struggled through my first few months of college...but 2014 was a breath of fresh air and was everything I wanted it to be and more. 

It was less of an emotional year than most. I found myself not being the usual angsty teenager of my previous years, but came to a contentment and happiness with my life that was never there before. An inner peace of acceptance to live my life positively and to forgive others. I feel like this was just a really gradual change at perhaps becoming older and exiting my teen years and turning 20 this past August (eep). Strangely enough, with this new found acceptance of a positive life, I've found myself much more independent of others. Not friend wise--thankfully I've forgone some of my loner ways and taken great strides to improve my social skills. But with dating, relationships, and not worrying about what the future holds for me with these things.

A year ago I was a mess about this. I was weak, very dissatisfied and scared of never finding someone. I was having a big pity party for myself about not having anyone to love me and that angers me that I did that. Somewhere along the road in 2012 though I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to become capable and able to realize that I don't need someone else to fulfill me. I'm the happiest I've ever been without someone completing me and that is awesome. Sure, absolutely I look at couples and people I know getting engaged and want that and wonder if it's in the cards for me. But for a huge majority of the time, I feel so content as a single right now and have no desire to date or see anyone. It's just this awesome feeling of depending on yourself and seeing yourself through your own eyes...and seeing someone who's strong, capable, able to be loved, and will be someday by the right person when the time is right.

I've got to say 2013 was also just this wonderful year of accomplishment for me. I'm never really feel proud of myself for the things I do. I don't know. I just blog and that's it. To me, it's not inspiring or life changing, and I honestly don't get the reason why people even like or enjoy my blog. Really. But after looking through all of my past outfits to do this roundup post, I became so proud of myself and everything I've accomplished in this past year. I saw myself through slightly different eyes and could see that I shouldn't always bump myself down to being ordinary and plain when I can do extraordinary things. Being in Seventeen is an example of that. I still can't believe it to this day and sometimes I have to remind myself that is was me. That miracle has me hooked on knowing that truly anything for me is possible. It has me setting my dreams higher and bigger which I'm so excited about!

One thing that this year really lacked though is two things that I hope to kind of make a combined resolution for 2014. I feel like being in college I should be making such distinct memories and getting outside of my comfort zone. I've grown a lot, but not as much as I would have liked. I am fairly still the same person I was in high school that I am now. I've always liked that person, but I want to see how far I can make myself go and stretch. I want my limits and boundaries to be pushed and make 2014 the year I did things. I want to feel like I lived in 2014 instead of always saying, "maybe next time" or "I'm too tired," and even "I don't want to." I want to say yes to more things my heart is telling me to do. Not to say dangerous, dumb things. But things that college should be like staying up all night with friends instead of my usual lame excuse of getting to bed. Like, what other time in my life am I going to get to do that?! I want to make that time now. And the second part of my resolution somewhat goes along with the first part--to strengthen and grow my friendships. I feel as though I really put a lot of effort into my college friendships when I first started freshman year of 2012. But it seems like after my first semester, I became content with the same people I hang out with and didn't bother to improve my relationship with them or even venture out to become friends with anyone else. I was perfectly happy with what I had. I shouldn't put myself into a box for making friends! There's no numerical limit on the number I should have. I want to do more for them and with them and not feel stuck in this mud pit of average that I always seem to fall into. It's hard for me to be the one to reach out, make plans, and keep in contact. Rejection from my past friendships have really scared me of doing all this. It's time to put those past scars behind though and realize I can be friends with and get as close as I want to anyone. None of the ghosts of my past are stopping that.

Thank you all for being with me for a truly incredible year. I am excited and nervous for 2014. It holds studying abroad in Italy for a semester which I know will change my life forever. It wasn't until today that it really hit me--I'm scared. When people have been asking me how I feel, I've just kept telling them, "excited, excited, excited." And yes, I am excited. But I realize I'm really scared, too. Scared of change, making mistakes, and of risks. But I know that it's going to be okay, and my excitement for not only Italy but the rest of 2014 is snow balling bigger and bigger. I'm ready for you beautiful new year ♥

With much love, Lauren.

Nearly New Year.

16 comments
Vintage Plaid Dress, Vintage Ferragamos, Purse: Thrifted.
Hair Bow: Forever21.
Key Necklace: Gift from my aunt.

Hello! 
This is one of the two vintage dresses I thrifted the other day. Usually I think I would have passed it by, but I began following Noelle's Favorite Things a few weeks ago and have really become inspired by the way she wears plaid. She also takes her photos in the beauty of urban NYC, so I thought I'd venture to my much (much) smaller downtown area for photos.

I went to church today for the first time since being home at the somewhat 'regular' church I've been going to for the past 9 months. I don't know why, but I've felt it hard to be excited about going to church and getting into the word. Perhaps it's because the excitement of being a new believer has worn off and the feeling of being in touch with Him is harder to reach now. I dragged my body out of bed this morning, knowing I should at least put effort forth before I go back to Kent regretful for not making it at least once. And I am sure glad I did. Church was wonderful for me and it opened up my heart again to being excited about all things in Him. The talk today was on not giving up and positively living your life which was perfect to get me inspired for the new year. I'm now anxiously awaiting for next Sunday when I can go again--thankful that my heart excited ♥

With much love, Lauren.

Vintage Pastel Plaid.

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Vintage Skirt (hemmed), Loafers, Bag.
Lavender Blouse: Forever21.
Lipstick in MAC's Please Me.

Hi there ♥

I've been thinking a lot about what I want my New Year's Resolution to be this year. I want it to be something challenging that does put me outside of my comfort zone, and that I have to make myself do begrudgingly. I have a few things in mind, but just haven't decided what to choose. Why not do all of them? I find it easier for a person like myself to just focus on one life change at a time rather than dividing myself up into too many pursuits I suppose. I get frazzled and too spread out!

One thing really sticks out to me, but it would be SO hard to do. Ya gotta dream realistically, you know? Maybe I could do it, I don't know. It's not weight-loss or anything of those sorts (ha), but has to do with my personality. Can something so innate and inherent really be changed and persuaded? Hm. I don't want to waste a good NYR on it if it can't be done. We'll see I suppose!

In frillier news, I went thrifting with my mother yesterday and came up lucky! Two vintage dresses for $2 a piece. I could have really used them about a week ago though because they're both perfectly and utterly Christmas-y. One a plaid shirt dress and the other a fancy party gown in satin and red velvet. Eh, might as well bring them out for New Year's festivities. They're too pretty to put away for a whole year. x

With much love, Lauren.

Lakeside Reflections.

14 comments
Polka Dot Dress: Forever21.
Elbow Pad Blazer: H&M.
Riding Boots: Old Navy.
Lipstick in MAC's Rebel.

Hello everyone!

Life's been a bustlin' lately. I've been going into work nearly every day and picking up extra shifts which has left little time for much else. With what little time I do have, I love spending it with my little sis playing with her new Monster High dolls from Christmas or just giggling and laughing in bed. I'll miss her so much when I go back to Kent in a few weeks. We were supposed to go see Frozen tonight together but I got called in and had to cancel. Her big eyes welled all up with crocodile tears and she was really upset. But, I promised her we'd go tomorrow ♥

The reason for picking up so many shifts is I'm quite determined to save a lot of money for my Italy trip this coming fall. It burdens me that my parents have to help me out. I mean, yes I know I'm still their child and it's their job to take care of me, but the fact that they have to help me out with this bothers me. Not in a I'm-too-good-I-don't-need-your-help sort of way. Rather, a I feel bad that you didn't get this opportunity, and now you're helping me to make my dreams come true? I don't know. I already feel so indebted for everything that my parents do for me already, and I know they don't mind helping me out for paying for my semester in Italy (they're more than happy to!) it just bothers me that they always put themselves last to make me happy. So, any money I can make to go towards my funds I'm working on!  Thankfully I love my job and most of the time it doesn't even feel like work at all (except when I have to organize the jeans--ugh).

Hope all of you are doing well after all of the Christmas excitement. In the retail world it hasn't quite ended--returns, exchanges, and gift cards GALORE! x

With much love, Lauren.

Merry Christmas, To You.

48 comments
(what I actually look like for photos)

Red Dress: c/o Edressy (old).
Bow Belt: Aeropostale. 
Pearls: Gift from my grandma.
Black Hinder Flats: c/o Pink and Pepper.

Well happy holidays to you all on this beautiful white Christmas! It was the crack of dawn that my little sister woke me up this morning and we did our tradition of watching the original 1960's Grinch before jumping on our parent's bed to wake them up. Maybe I'm exaggerating slightly on the jumping part, but sometimes that's the last straw to get my mom out of bed that early.

It was a perfect Christmas morning with my family and rest of the day with extended family. Couldn't have asked for anyone better to spend it with; truly. Gifts are nice, of course, but I'm just thankful for my family. They're the best gift of all to have them all healthy and with me for Christmas. Love them so much.

This is what I wore for Christmas Eve! A stunning dress, but not best suited for frigid weather and snow flurries you can guess. That last photo is a super accurate photo of how I actually feel on the inside during these photos. Winter blogging you are the best and worst at the same time.

Give your family and loved ones many hugs and cherish the time you have with them. Hope your holiday was wonderful! x

With much love, Lauren.

One More Time.

11 comments
Cat Sweater: Target.
White Dress: Delia's.
Boots: Thrifted.

Hi there everyone!  ♥

Had to break out my cat sweater once more before Christmas actually arrived. I'll be sad to put the little beauty away until next year, but I have a feeling it will be getting me through a lot more future Christmases! 

Can't say much is either going on or happening here on my end. Perhaps I'll have something more exciting to write about tomorrow. x

With much love, Lauren.
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