Book + Movie Talk: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

August 30, 2015

As you all know I love reading, so whenever I finish a book that I particularly enjoyed, of course, I want to share it with you all. I'm obviously not going to share every book I ever read with you, but if you want to keep up with what I'm reading you can follow me on Goodreads!

Dealing with Rejection

August 20, 2015
Dealing with Rejection

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with a bit more of a serious topic, how to deal with rejection. Everyone experiences rejection at some point in their life, and sometimes dealing with it without becoming pessimistic or even depressed can be difficult.

Agenda Organization - Kate Spade Agenda | #BloggersBTS

August 10, 2015
I'm back bright and early on this Monday morning to share with you my second installment of #BloggersBTS! Last week's theme was fashion, so you can check out my Back to School Fashion Essentials for ideas on what to wear this school year! This week's theme is organization, and as you all know I love my agendas! Unfortunately, my Lilly Pulitzer agenda post from 2013 is no longer up, but last year's Kate Spade Agenda organization post is still available, so you can read that one as well. Over the past 2-3 years, I've figured out what works for me as far as organizing my agenda, so I hope this helps you guys!

I'm definitely a fan of Kate Spade agendas over Lilly Pulitzer agendas, because the spiral on the inside prevents it from getting tangled in my other notebooks. Another agenda preference of mine, is the smaller agendas so I can take them any/everywhere I go without them taking up too much space. For this year's design I chose this bright kelly green with a super cute quote, so that even in the winter the bright colors will stand out and keep me out of the mid year slump!

The inside of this agenda has a cream lining with metallic gold polka dots, which are super cute and tie-in with the white and gold theme in my room. It also has a pocket in the front where I like to keep my schedule, notes for teachers, and my admit slips when I'm tardy or absent!

Instead of last years fun sayings, the cover of each month is a simple small black dot pattern. As much as I liked the fun sayings, they weren't that important to me, and I think this new pattern is a bit more mature!

As for the actual organization, I like to use the monthly overview to write down any major due dates and events, including when my blog posts are going up. I also like to write down when my web conferences are for my online classes, and any extracurricular events going on that I'm thinking about attending. I use the notes section on the left side to write down any due dates or notes that don't fit in the other boxes, like if a specific class has a lot due on a certain day!

For the weekly view, I use each of the eight spaces for a class, and write down the name of class with the work I need to get done that day. I use the extra line (I'm only taking 7 classes) to write down blog things that I need to get done, or things I need to do for clubs & extracurriculars!

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and it helped you choose the Kate Spade agenda (like I said, I love them) or just help you organize your agenda! Stay tuned for more exciting posts later this week, and don't forget to check out the other #BloggersBTS posts! xo, Lauren!

Back to School Fashion Essentials | #BloggersBTS

August 7, 2015
Back to School Essentials

Hello, and welcome back to my blog! Today begins my annual back to school series, except this year will be a little different. You may have noticed the #BloggersBTS in the title of this post; I'm so excited to announce that I am apart of the link up hosted by Cathleen from Classy Cathleen and Nicole from Empire Styles! This week's link up theme is fashion, so today I'm showing you six of my back to school fashion essentials! Also, I don't know about you, but I'm digging the blue, black, and gold color scheme!

For the most part (some days are a struggle), I dress up everyday for school. I have found that personally, the saying "dress well, test well" is true, meaning that whenever I'm dressed in a put together outfit as opposed to sweats or Nike shorts, I focus and perform better. That being said, sometimes it can be difficult to not get stuck in a rut wearing the same outfits every week. An easy solution, is to pair a bold statement necklace with a basic outfit such as a grey t-shirt and black skinny jeans. The necklace will create a super chic look, without the work of coordinating a new outfit!


Many people dread wearing jeans, they find them uncomfortable and restricting. I on the other hand, love the structure provided by jeans, especially when they fit well! If you haven't seen my Finding the Perfect Jeans post, then you should definitely check it out to read about my 'journey' to finding my perfect pair. American Eagle's jeans fit me perfectly, so I will definitely be picking some up in multiple washes to get ready for the school year!

For me, back to school footwear is a struggle, because as much as I love my summer wedges, they aren't practical for everyday at school. I'm also not a fan of flats, as they typically provide little to no foot support, and I feel as though I'm walking on the ground. Lately, I've been inspired by the sporty-chic look, and these shoes fit in perfectly with that style! I recently have purchased a pair of white high-top Converse, which I love, but this pair of Vans are a little less common for high-schoolers, so if you hate having the same things as everyone else, these will be perfect for you!

This is a bit of a splurge item, but I think that wearing a watch is super important. In the modern age of technology, teens either wear watches soley for the look (which is totally fine) or don't wear them at all, because they can check the time on their iPhones. In my opinion, watches are classic and should be worn not only for the style - don't get me wrong that's important- but also for the practicality!

Basic t-shirts are a crucial aspect of any/every wardrobe. They are super easy to style, and can look super refined when they are a good quality. It's important to get new tee's yearly in order to keep them looking neat, especially white ones! Making sure your tee fits properly (not too baggy or sheer) is also important, which means the t-shirts that your friends wear may not be the best option for you. It's good to try on a variety of different tee's when shopping, and pick the one that works best for you (and buy it in every color)!

Whether you're snapping selfies or texting in class (it's bad, but c'mon...we all do it) a new phone case can totally transform your style! For me, getting a new case at the beginning of the year feels like spring cleaning my closet, or starting a new agenda!

I hope you all enjoyed today's post; leave me a comment letting me know what your back to school essentials are! Don't forget to come back next week for a new #BloggersBTS post. Stay tuned, xo Lauren!


Sight Seeing Part 2 | London, England

August 4, 2015
As you may know, today - Monday- was our last full day in London. You may be thinking "Wow! Only 3 days in London, what a short trip?!" (I've been getting it a lot from friends), but our family prefers shorter vacations, it's a personal thing. Any who, today was by far our most busy day, so I'l stop with this into and get right into the post!
side view from gardens

frontal view

view of ceiling

view from Golden Gallery

#ootd

another ceiling view

Once again, we woke up at 7:00 AM and ate breakfast downstairs at the hotel so we could be getting out at 10 AM. We started our day by taking the tube down to St. Paul's Cathedral. The cathedral was beautiful, and I enjoyed way much more than I anticipated. We climbed way too many 528 stairs up to the Golden Gallery, where we could see the entire city from 11 meters up (I would like to point out that I have a small fear of heights, so this was personally quite impressive). The stairs were SUCH a hassle, and extremely tiring, but the view was 100% worth it in the end. St. Paul's Cathedral also features a crypt, as well as a hall dedicated to the American soldiers who helped G.B. during WW2. The area features 3 stained glass panels with flags from all of the states, as well as a book with the names of all the soldiers who died dedicating their lives to help their allies. Seeing this part of the cathedral in person was breathtaking, and hard to take in a the book was filled with over 18,000 (don't quote me on that, I'm pretty sure that's what the guide said) names.
 Roy Lichtenstein's "Whaam"

Piet Mondrian's "Composition with Yellow Blue and Red"

After leaving St. Paul's Cathedral, we walked across the bridge to the Tate Modern museum. As you all know I'm a sucker for art museums, and everyone said that this was the #1 museum to see in London! We enjoyed quite a few works, such as the Roy Lichenstein piece (my 2nd favorite artist ever), a Piet Mondrian composition, a Warhol piece, and few others.

We stopped on our way back at a restaurant called Dion, where I had the most delicious burger ever. We originally stopped for a toilet break, and ordered some light dessert/snacks, but we quickly realized that we were all ready for lunch and ordered meals. Blood orange sorbet is a dessert I've never had before, and the one I shared with Olivia at Dion was one of the best sorbet's I've ever had - I've had way more than you probably think!

Due to room problems, we had to switch hotels from the W London to Le Meridien (where I am sitting writing this post, the internet is INCREDIBLE). After the Tate Museum, we (My Dad, Olivia and I) took the tube back to Piccadilly Circus and transferred rooms while Nigel and my mom headed to Hamley's Toy Store.  Nigel was extremely excited about the toy store, but mildly disappointed that it had many of the same things as FAO Schwarz from our NYC trip.

We reunited at the hotel for afternoon tea, an England experience my mom did not want to miss! As far as the tea, we had just eaten lunch so weren't as interested in the sweets, so I sipped on a delicious chamomile tea. I definitely recommend stopping for tea if you are in England, sitting down and having a conversation over tea midday is a daily activity that we need in America!


view from London Eye

Following tea was the London Eye, one of the major tourist attractions I had to experience before leaving London! The line was super long when we arrived, so we purchased the fast track tickets in order to hop straight onto the ferris wheel! The view of the city was stunning, and although the tickets were expensive, I'd say they were definitely worth it! We had an incredible view of Big Ben/the Elizabeth Tower from the London Eye, and were able to take some incredible photos!




Once the ride was over, it immediately started raining, so we ran for cover under a bridge, and ended up with the most unbelievable view of Big Ben! We took some cool photos in from of the tower while the rain stopped, and then walked across the bridge to get closer photos and get on the tube to Piccadilly Circus! Once we got there we split once again for some shopping, after quickly returning to the hotel and changing into warmer clothes (it got real chilly real fast). We did a bit of shopping in the area, but not much as many of the shops were closed/closing, then ate dinner at a restaurant called Prezzo. Prezzo is a pizza place with incredible service and delicious food. Everything was good from my flatbread Margherita pizza to the tiramisu I ate for dessert!

The last day in London was incredible, and the perfect way to complete the trip. We had SO much fun in London, and hopefully I will return again soon! Don't forget to check out days 1 & 2, and also Ruth's London Recap posts! I'll be back later this week with my first post from the #BloggersBTS link up, xo Lauren!

Outfit details: Romper: Charlotte Russe     Shoes: Converse     Bag: Forever 21     Watch: Kate Spade     Bracelets: Lily & Laura, Natural History Museum     Earrings: Kendra Scott

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Art & Food | London, England

August 3, 2015
I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's post, which was day 1! Also, make sure to check out my friend Ruth's posts about her experience in London earlier this summer!

To start things off we woke up at about 7 AM, and got ready to eat breakfast at the same restaurant in the hotel as yesterday. We then walked from our hotel to the National Gallery, where I saw some wonderful works that I love, such as Monet's Waterlilies (yes, I see it at every museum) and an El Greco exhibit that was on while we were there. 

Upon leaving the National Gallery we walked through Trafalgar Square and took some pictures in front of the square with the lions! On our way to the tube we saw a red telephone booth, and used it as a photo-opp for some super tourist-y photos! We took the train from Piccadilly to Gloucester Road, and stopped for lunch at Nando's. For lunch I ordered something light, an avocado and green bean salad, just to keep me going. Nando's had a super cool wall made of cans, which I used to take some photos of my outfit (thanks Nigel)!

From Nando's we walked to the National History Museum, where Nigel had a blast! He was able to see the dinosaur skeleton (similar to Washington DC), as well as a bunch of fossils and rocks! In the gift shop I purchased a super cute bracelet made of rose quartz! From there we walked over to Harrod's, a major department store/tourist attraction! The shop is full of super high-end stores, so I didn't make any purchases there except for from LaDuree, the macaron shop I'm obsessed with and have been dying to try! We ordered a box of 12 for the four of us (my mother, brother, sister, and me) and they were delicious! My favorites would have to be the rose petal and salted caramel flavors!




After Harrod's we went across the street to Topshop, where my sister purchased some super cute jewelry! Then we were back on the tube home, to rest and leave our bags before heading to dinner at Nobu!




We had all been to Nobu before at the Bahamas, so we knew the food was good, but in London it was a different experience! I ordered the spicy tuna roll, and also shared a spicy yellowtail roll with my sister! One thing I mentioned at dinner is that I love how despite having the word 'spicy' in the title, the sushi is not that spicy at all! Nobu was delicious, and the perfect way to end the night!

Day 2 was so much fun, and basically a perfect day - aside from me almost getting us lost multiple times (I don't know why they put me in charge of directions)! Don't forget to check out Day 1's post, and leave me some comments letting me know what your favorite city is! I'll be back tomorrow with the next, and final day's post, xo Lauren!

Outfit Details: Sweater: American Eagle     Jeans: American Eagle    Shoes: Converse     Watch: Kate Spade     Bracelet: Lily and Laura     Earrings: Kendra Scott     Bag: Coach

Sight Seeing Part 1 | London, England

August 2, 2015
Yesterday concluded my first day in London, and it was such a whirlwind. From the minute I stepped off the plane I was experiencing mixed emotions, from exhaustion to excitement. Saturday was our easy day, because we were all so tired from the 7 hour flight and arriving at 6 AM London time, which was 1 AM our normal time.


After collecting our bags and leaving the airport we arrived at the hotel we were staying in at about 7:30 AM. Unfortunately, our rooms weren't ready so we weren't able to check-in and freshen up. We went to the hotel restaurant, Spice Market, for breakfast. I ordered an omelette, which was delicious, as well as chicken sausage. We got a call mid-meal that one of our rooms was ready, so immediately after eating we went upstairs to leave our bags and freshen up. We all took quick showers and changed into fresh clothes to officially start our day.

First we had to exchange our money, which ended up being a struggle because none of the ATM's would accept my mom's card. We ended up having to go to a teller person (I have no idea what it is called) at a bank to get some pounds, and had to pay a ridiculous fee! If you are traveling to a different country definitely bring cash or exchange currency before arriving.


Once we were able to get money, we took the tube from Piccadilly Circus to Tower Hill. We got off and immediately saw the Tower of London, our first destination! We purchased our tickets, and went in search for the Crown Jewels. We walked past a whole bunch of cool things, like armor from the days of William the Conqueror, and found our way to the Crown Jewels. The crowns were gorgeous, but unfortunately I was literally falling asleep while walking during this point due to my lack of sleep and the dark lights in the room. Immediately after leaving the Tower, we speed walked to Starbucks for an iced chai tea latte with an extra shot of caffeine to keep me awake (I was cringing while drinking, soo unhealthy)!




After the Tower of London we walked to my favorite thing, the London Bridge! The bridge was absolutely stunning, and so exciting to see in person! We went up the elevator and on to the glass, which was so cool to walk across, while seeing the cars drive by underneath. After exiting the bridge, we went to Pret – A – Manger for lunch, where I got a fruit cup and water (I was way too excited/tired to be hungry). We stayed there for a while to rest our feet, and then went back to the Tower Hill tube to take the train back to Leicester Square, where we are staying.


When we arrived back to the hotel, it was about 6PM, so we sat and rested a little bit longer, until about 6:15PM when my brother and sister fell asleep and my mom and I went out shopping. Although it was one of our only shopping times, we didn't do much purchasing, mostly because we were both tired and more into window shopping and grabbing things that really caught our eye. We walked about a mile or so down Regent Street and saw a bunch of cool stores, such as Brandy Melville (I know we have that in America, but I've never seen one), Jack Willis, Ted Baker, and so many more! We headed back to the hotel at about 8:15PM, and came back to both of my siblings completely knocked out in bed with all of their clothes on!

By this time it had been a 20 hour day for all of us, so we changed into our jammies and headed to sleep! Even though we hadn't planned much for Saturday, we had a blast at the things we did see!





For my outfit, I tried my best to dress like a native London-er, and wore neutral colors. I wore this black and white top from Choies, these light-wash jeans from American Eagle, and these black ankle booties from Aldo. As for my accessories, my cross-body is from Forever 21, my ring is from American Eagle, my bracelet is from Lily and Laura, and my watch is from Kate Spade. Aside from my shoes, this outfit was super comfortable and easy to wear in the London weather!

Come back tomorrow to see Lauren in London Day 2, where we take a look at all of the museums! Leave a comment telling me your favorite city that you've visited, and enjoyed the most! I hope you enjoyed this post, xo Lauren!
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