Wednesday, March 24, 2010

+ Life Lessons: What I Learned In The First 22 Years +

Remember when we were little kids that had bad days? As we get older, we seem to have bad years. Off years. This has been a hell of an off year for me, and I have absolutely had it. So, after spending a week in Los Angeles and Phoenix, giving myself time off, time to think, write, and have some incredible conversations with darling Annie, I am renewed and motivated again. I’m in the airport writing this, in hopes of solidifying everything before “getting home” brings me back to earth.

Every year we get older, rules change a little for living. I’ve changed a lot, and have been in desperate need of repairing and creating a whole array of new little synapses between the updated me, and you – the world.

In a sense, this is a list of changes I’m consciously making, based off the most important lessons I’ve learned in the last 22 years, in order to develop my life into one I’m happy to live:

+ Keep a “thankful for” journal. Hot damn, I’m ready to focus on the overwhelming amount of good in my life.

+ Business hours for my social life.

+ Understand that sleep is my most valuable asset.

+ Surround myself with inspiring visuals and sound. Environment is everything.

+ Limit the number of close friends I have. Write them down, and invest in them. Commit.

+ Create what I love, not what I think other people will.

+ View my life holistically, not in terms of times, places, or periods.

+ Never underestimate the power of beauty.

+ KNOW it’s the journey, and not the destination. (I’m sorry, but for all you perfectionist, goal-oriented, big-picture people, this is one oozing cliché you’re just going to have to accept as truth, and learn to ignore the elephant of how-to, self-help, 10-ways-to-happiness shit factor that it is. )

+ Realize that I have control of my life as a whole. Truly. I control what I do. For the parts that are outside of my control, I have control of my perception.

+ Keep a list of things I wish I knew. Block off time to learn those things.

+ Don’t ever turn an opportunity down because I fear the result.

+ With every choice, ask if it simplifies or complicates. Be honest with myself.

+ Most limitations are illusions. Almost any obstacle can be overcome if I genuinely work at it.

+ What I focus on, expands. Ask myself every morning what I will focus on today. Write it down EVERYWHERE.

+ Take myself on dates. Regularly. Pretend I am in a relationship with myself. Take myself places I wish someone would take me, sit down and talk to myself. I can’t have quality relationships with others until I know the person having a relationship with them. So get to know that person – me.

+ Take care of myself. Treat myself like I would my daughter.

+ Carry around a pad or tablet for a week and mark down the moments I am happiest or excited ( + column ) and the moments I am drained, stressed, or unhappy ( - column ) . Take myself on a date, and work on arranging my life in a way that increases my +’s and decreases my –‘s.

+ Scrapbook. Not craft mom scrapbook. Keep a booklet (small enough I can throw in my purse or bag or backpack) around with a pen and some tape so I can throw every fleeting though, inspirational-anything, great ad, idea, photo, or pretty thing in it. Start documenting my life OFF the computer.

+ Give, not take. Give to myself, and give to others. Don’t let anyone take from me and don’t take from anyone else. Don’t let a day go by that I don’t consciously give to myself AND to someone else.

+ Compartmentalize only the bad, and none of the good.

+ Ten minutes every morning. Work it into EVERY morning before I go anywhere or do anything. Think about nothing other than myself. Get to know the person that’s getting ready to live my day.

+ Learn to believe that I am unique and can honestly give in ways that no one else can. I may not know right now what I can give, but when I believe it, I’ll see it.

+ Learn to need others and be needed. Do group projects and collaborations.

+ Everyday, stop and use my eyes’ macro lens. I may forget it often, but I’m a badass camera. Watch a bug, study a snowflake or blade of grass. Come to a dead stop and change my view for a couple of seconds, and I’ll see the world differently.

+ Do things I’m afraid of doing. Failure is better than not attempting.

+ Don’t be afraid of pain. Don’t run from it, don’t smother it, and don’t let decisions be influenced by it. There is a healthy outlet for pain, unique to me. Find it, use it, and create with it.

+ Love people. If you don’t have it already, make a conscious effort to develop a deep love for people and humanity as a whole. People are the key to life. Love them, know them, meet them, listen to them, learn from them. View everyone as an encyclopedia with a beating heart.

+ Don’t let weaknesses affect strengths. Use strengths regardless of weaknesses, and focus in on weaknesses one at a time. Work on them in environments where it’s already acknowledged that you can’t, and you’re there to get better.

+ Exchange my “I can’t” to “can you teach me?”

Friday, March 12, 2010

+ under $10 +

So I've been thinking about this for a little bit..instead of posting up all this nonsense that I want, I should probably be posting up what I already HAVE. Doesn't that make for an all-around happier person?

(Well, it makes for a happier me, but not you...because to you, this is just more in the "I Want" category...but anyway...) That being said, I'm going to do this on and off for awhile. I also am only planning on posting things under $10.

And away we go.

This men’s denim shirt is a trooper. It’s been a staple of mine for the last two weeks, and seen more sun than any other item in my closet. $3 goodwill find, I love you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

+ wishlist break +

Wishlist time! I'm not sure how many of you follow my tumblr, but these are a few things I've been dying over these past few days.

[ oh chanel, i'm falling in love with you slowly. stop! ]


[ stockholmstreetstyle ]

also, QUESTION: how many of you use google reader? Let me know - I'm interested in finding out.

- lauren xoxo

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

+ confession time: my closet upgrades. +

Confession time. I've been spending money.

Everyone has a few select things they drop the extra cash on. Mine are (primarily) moisturizer, my glorious bed, lingerie, and shampoo.

This weekend, I added hangers to the list. That's right, hangers. I made a huge investment on Sunday afternoon to expand my closet space by building a customized Elfa system (post on this coming soon), and now I'm hooked on pretty hangers. At $1-$10 a pop (I get a discount but that's hushhush), it will take me awhile to phase out the dozens and dozens of old ones, but these are the bestest and greatest and they are here to make my life beautiful and organized!

You can click all three of these photos to go buy some for yourself!

Those last ivory ones (Ivory Huggables) come in a pack of 10 for $10 from The Container Store (same place as the rest) and are incredible for our little strappy things that slip and slide all over the place. My days of picking up fallen dresses and silky tops are over, and I'm ecstactic.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

+ beauty secret! +

Fix +

An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!

3.4 fl oz US $18.00

- - -

Ladies, I swear by this. Refresher / makeup-fixer / wake-me-up / moisturizer all in one. I'm addicted and am about to buy two more, one to keep in my purse and one to keep in my car. If you wear foundation or skin tint, it gives you the "hey, I'm actually a real person" look and if you are make-up free, it protects your skin and keeps it moisturized without the heaviness of a cream or lotion. Get it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

+ i'm back. +

I know what I miss. I miss my imagination. I miss fairytales. I miss the story telling, the make-believe. I miss creating worlds and colors in my head. I miss using my hands to build a prettier place. I miss the beautiful things. The real ones. I miss feeling everything with my whole body - when the senses were still new - when I could find things I hadn’t before. I miss picturing what I wanted without being miserable that it wasn’t possible. I miss being able to escape reality. I miss knowing that life is what you make of it - in your mind, not by actions. I miss feeling. Wholly. I miss when the colors were brighter, the touch was heavier, the breathing more clean. I miss the universe as something astounding to be explored, not corrupted to be avoided. I miss my childhood mind.