Monday, November 28, 2011

Why & How To Self-Host Your Blog + 50% off!

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

Over at HostGator (my favorite hosting company), they're offering 50% off all hosting plans, TODAY ONLY. This means instead of paying $10 a month, or $80 for a year up front, you can get the entire year up front for $40.

Some of you already have self-hosted blogs, but a lot of you keep hearing about them, and are wondering if you should be on Blogger or Wordpress, and why anyone would bother paying for Wordpress when you could just use it for free.

I decided to bunker down at Starbucks before leaving Portland this morning to give you access to my "Understanding Domains, Hosting & The Internet" PDF I give to my blog design clients. This PDF* will help you understand what a self-hosted blog is and does, and how to set one up. And to tell you that if you've been putting off self-hosting your blog or portfolio website, today is the time to do it. Please use my affililate link so I can get commission! ♥

If you are on Wordpress, click here for the Understanding Domains, Hosting & The Internet PDF.

If you are on Blogger, click here for the PDF, which includes an explanation of some of the difference between the two blog platforms.

If you'd like step-by-step instructions for purchasing your blog hosting plan, click here.

Also, I'm currently booked through the holidays for blog design, but if you'd like to go ahead and reserve time in January (new year, new blog!!) I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at laurennicolelove[at] There is more information on my blog design here. I'm also available to design banners, buttons, Twitter page backgrounds, Facebook landing pages, etc.


*Note on PDFs: These were written & designed for active clients, so please pardon any instructions that do not apply to you. Also, you do not need to use the 25% off coupon that is listed in the PDF. Use the CYBERMONDAY11 coupon that defaults into the code section today to receive 50%. Feel free to use the 25% off coupon at a later date though! :) Thank you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

7 months traveling across the country: for your eyes and ears.

I've been traveling this massive country since April with Max. Tomorrow morning we leave Portland to head down to Los Angeles, stopping in Salem, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz along the way. I'm excited.

Max put together a slideshow of some of the photos so far, both prior to meeting me in Ohio a month into his trip - - and including our wedding on the top of a cliff in Colorado. Seeing these cities and these people has changed my perspective on what matters. Enjoy. ♥

MAD Across America: The Trip In Photos from Max Dubinsky on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the art of change.

to fight the stagnant.

there is an art to change.

and the secret is not in the pursuit of it. or in it's accomplishment.

but rather in the art of perceiving it.

* * *

you have moved. you have grown. you have changed.

you have improved. you have become strengthened. you have learned.

you have seen. you have been. you have said.

you have created. you have chosen life. you have ended death.

you have become more beautiful. you have grown into yourself. you are more.

there is an art to observing the change you have made.

there is an art to knowing your growth, and ending the lie in your bones that says you are right where you always have been.

it is worth your time to document your movement forward. it is worth the hour of your day to know what you have done with your time.

sometimes we must move into our past, in order to accurately see our present.

create a place on the page, in the journal, on the blog, in the portfolio, on the table, in your soul. create a place to document your change.

* * *

look at your first month of blog entries.

look at your journal from three years ago.

look at your first photos.

do you see the movement?

write down the lies you used to believe.

write down the truth you know now.

write down the part of your heart you hadn't met 5 years ago.

do you see the growth?

find your first pieces of art.

find your first songs.

find your first designs.

do you see your progress?

think about the mistakes you've made that will not be made again.

think about the depth of character that was lacking 10 years ago.

think about the hidden places of the old depression.

do you see the new life?

sift through your albums, your archives, your chapters.

sift through your resumes, your childhood, your classes.

sift through your failures, your accomplishes, your proofs of action.

know the growth reflected in the dissonance between the past and present - know that your present will always be your past, and soon.

* * *

he says he is faithful. to move, to carry, to nurture, to redeem, to assign purpose. he is faithful to carry onto completion the good work he began in you.

you cannot help but grow. he has not forsaken us. like a tree beside still waters, you could not cease to grow even if you so desired.

because he is the great i am.

and in him we live, we move, we have our being.

* * *

refuse the lie of stagnancy. refuse the lie of stillness. refuse the lie of hopelessness.

document your change. be encouraged. and continue to move.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Life In Pictures + I Answer Your Questions On Sex, Dating, & Masturbation.

I feel like I owe someone (or many someones) out there an apology for not posting as much. I want to blame myself, but I'm going to blame Instagram, my new iPhone, and a new side-project for my brief absence. Oh, and just getting married. Turns out you don't get as much alone time (I'm not even talking physically - I'm talking about mentally, haha) in your first couple months of marriage. BUT IT'S AWESOME. Most of the time. :)

Instagram can do a much better job telling you about my life for the last couple weeks, so I'm going to let it do the talking:

I've been trying oh-so-very hard to answer anonymous questions on AskLauren in a way that reflects not the rules and black and whites that we fall prey to, but rather the heart and character of God. If you'd like to read any of my answers to the latest questions, I'm glad to share them:

1. What does "submit" mean in marriage? Are men responsible for their wife's sin like my college ministry leader said?

2. Is the birth control pill a form of abortion? What's the best method of family planning?

3. Why do we get to control when we have kids instead of leaving it up to God?

4. Is it wrong for a Christian woman to masturbate?

5. Is it okay for Christian married couples to have anal sex?

6. What are good books of the Bible to read that deal with loneliness?

7. Where do we draw the line between expecting and praising men for their good behavior?

8. What are good books to read that deal with your value and worth as a woman? I keep comparing myself to other women and it's so destructive.

9. How do I turn down a guy, tell him to leave me alone, or tell him I'm not comfortable with his sexual flirting without hurting his feelings?

10. I'm stuck in a very strict church and I struggle to decide if I want to spend the rest of my life this way in church. I feel like I have the life I'm supposed to live, and the life I want to live. What should I do?

11. I want to date this guy exclusively, but he doesn't want to commit to be my boyfriend. He wants to still see other women without feeling like he's cheating. Advice?

- - -

Massive exhale. So there you have it. If you're on Instagram, please follow me!! I'm laurennicolelove. Max and I are leaving Portland right after Thanksgiving to drive down the west coast and spend a little bit more time in Los Angeles before heading back to Ohio to spend Christmas & New Years with his family (!!!). I'm so excited to be traveling again, and to be heading back to the hot hot heat. Also, the pictures on Instagram will be awesommmee.

Oh and one more thing. It's been an intense month leading up the Good Women Project. We've been sharing stories on pornography and our experience with it as women: our own addictions, our significant other's, and how it's affecting our lives. Please come join us.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Wish I'd Known Before Watching Porn

In addition to this little blog here, I run Good Women Project. I don't normally post much there and am primarily the editor, since I have been blessed with countless women who have incredible stories of their own to share. This month, however, we are talking about pornography. So, I decided to begin with a little bit of my own history with porn. To read the full post, click here. We will be talking about pornography from a women's perspective for the rest of November. Join us.

- - -

"Pornography is a charged subject, and it’s a word that rarely crosses the lips of most women. Yes, there are now breeds of the modern woman who watch, talk and joke about it regularly, but most of us still stay further away from speaking the word than we actually stay away from it.

When I was in high school, pornography was on the long list of “bad things” that I didn’t know much about – and unfortunately also on the list of things I had participated in. Nevermind why I was watching it, the how is the same for all of us: we stumbled upon it because of someone else. And none of us knew what to expect, or how to handle it.

Later in life, I caught myself remembering how I used to watch it for a few minutes here or there, and wondered strictly out of boredom if it would fill the big, empty space of loneliness in my late nights. There were no parents around to hide from anymore, and no one checking my Internet history. Pornography was easy, and I never exactly knew why it was bad, particularly since I wasn’t actually having sex. To me, it was just something dirty that you probably shouldn’t have anything to do with. But “probably shouldn’t” never stands up against loneliness and boredom.

I am not one with an addictive personality. Meaning, I binge, and then drop things quickly. I knew this about myself, and so I used this as an excuse for watching pornography. I’d watch it every night for a couple weeks, then not at all for a few weeks. Always off and on. Clearly I wasn’t addicted. Just like I smoked, and never became addicted to nicotine, and drank, but never became an alcoholic. I was just watching it, and could stop anytime I wanted. No damage done, because I was still in control.

Wrong. Nicotine still seared my lungs, and alcohol still did some decent damage to my liver and personal life. Just because we aren’t addicted, doesn’t mean it does no harm. Even while I wasn’t “addicted” to watching pornography, I always wanted more. It existed as a guaranteed time-filler and pleasure-bringer, and when you get an hour to yourself – that’s an easy default. An easy default activity that establishes a heavy precedence in what you do with your next bad night.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on pornography. What it is, what it does, and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.

I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have proven it sabotages your sex life.

I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.

I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness."

To read the rest, please visit Good Women Project. > > >

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