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It’s been over a year since my last haul of current beauty faves, so I thought I’d share what I’m currently loving for skincare (and one haircare product.) I’ve been working my way through so many different cleansers, exfoliators, facial oils, and masks to find the ones that work best for my skin and provide the best outcome.

For reference, I have mostly normal skin that can lean a little on the dry side in the winter months. These are the skincare products that I’ve found to be the best for my skin type. So here are my current beauty faves:

current beauty faves

One of my all-time favorite facial oils is the Daily Reviving Concentrate from Kiehl’s. I’ve been obsessed with the Midnight Recovery Oil for years, but just fell in love with the daytime oil this past year. On the days where I don’t wear foundation, I start my morning by washing my face and gently patting a few drops of this onto my skin. It brightens while also moisturizing and freshening. It’s the perfect wake-me-up product in the mornings.

current beauty faves
Next on the list is the SeaRx Micro-Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub. My skin always feels best after I’m able to exfoliate and wash all the dead skin away, so I had been on the lookout for a paste or scrub that would do just that for my skin. I wanted something more gentle and not too abrasive and this scrub is just that. I mostly use it on my face in the evenings, but sometimes use it on my body in the bathtub to help exfoliate after wearing sunless tanner.

current beauty faves

Speaking of exfoliating, I also have a new crush on this Charcoal Scrub w/ Sea Salt + Roses. Since this contains sugar, I don’t use it on my face. I do, however, use it on my arms, stomach, and legs in the shower and in the bath to also wash away sunless tanner and refresh and rid of dead cells. It smells just like roses, which is an added bonus.

current beauty faves

Just like most women, I have an obsession with everything that Lush makes. Now, thanks to my sister-in-law who gave me this Sleepy body lotion as a Christmas gift, I’m head over heels for this product. This lavender body lotion has the perfect whipped consistency. It’s great as a face cream, body lotion, and foot rub. Since lavender is one my favorite scents, it stays right by my bedside so I can use it before I drift off to sleep.
current beauty faves

Another gift I received recently that has become one of my current beauty faves is this Skin Goo Australia Matcha Face Mask. For a mask, it’s very light weight and creamy with a delightful clean scent. It’s not heavy and doesn’t tighten your face when drying. Instead, it provides nourishment and hydration that leaves your skin feeling soft and pillowy after you wash it off.

current beauty faves

For an absolute STEAL at $4 per bottle, this Rose Oil from Trader Joe’s is a Godsend. It caught me by total surprise when I was browsing through the hygiene section at my favorite grocery shop and saw that they had rose oil for sale. I was even more surprised when I saw the price tag. The best part? This oil is AMAZING and works so well with my skin. Everyone should own a bottle of this miracle oil.
current beauty faves

Lastly, the only hair product I have in today’s haul is this Davines OI All-in-One Milk. In the colder months when my hair is feeling dull and drab, this oil perks it right back into shape and leaves my blonde locks feeling soft and silky. It also keeps it from frizzing and tangling. If your hair needs some added moisture, I highly recommend giving this Davines product a try.
current beauty faves
That’s it for my haul on current beauty faves! I’ll probably be showcasing some of my favorite makeup items in the next month or two, so stay tuned!

current beauty faves
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So… BIG NEWS!

I quit the job I’ve loved for over two years.

I quit my job to follow my heart.

For those who know me, you probably know how attached I’ve been to my job. I was a product development manager, a content marketing manager, and a customer success manager all for the same company during my time there. I filled in positions when other employees departed, learned tons of new skills (including Infusionsoft, Web Dev, Hubspot, and more), took numerous online training programs on SEO, Conversion Funnels, Email Marketing, Copywriting, etc., connected with some incredible people in the entrepreneurial atmosphere, worked side-by-side with an amazing team, and had a total blast.

i quit my job

Every single time I considered leaving my job for a different opportunity (and I even declined a few great job offers), I kept telling myself that the grass is greener where I water it. Then I’d stick out the pain of my job a little longer. But I couldn’t do it anymore.

So why did I quit my job?

After spending a few weeks battling with the fact that I have put all of my own goals and ambitions on the back burner for a while now, I decided that I needed to make some tough decisions. Just over a month ago, I transitioned into a job position that no longer felt fulfilling or purposeful. I wasn’t waking up every morning with intention. I was unsatisfied and constantly dealing with negativity. It was taking a major toll on me. I lost sight of my own happiness.

I was losing sleep over figuring out what my next move should be and if I could even fathom leaving a company I’ve been so loyal to. I came to the realization I was sacrificing my happiness completely. I prayed about it for a couple of weeks and one morning I just knew what I had to do. It was time for me to move on. I knew it was the best thing for myself and for the company I was working for.

Although it was never a part of my ‘plan’ to walk away from my job at age 30, I had never felt more confident in a career decision. I let myself choose happiness over an unfulfilling job that no longer promised growth in my future.

i quit my job

Fortunately my husband and I are in a comfortable financial situation where I can afford to step back and recalibrate my lenses and refocus on where I want to go from here. I’m very excited for new opportunities on the horizon. I know this is going to be the start of something truly good for me.

After spending some time weighing the pros and the cons, I reached a lot of conclusions.

Here is a list of signs that it might be time to quit your job:

  1. You’re no longer excited about your job and getting out of bed feels more like a chore.
  2. You’re exhausted all the time. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
  3. Your personal goals and mission no longer align with the company’s vision.
  4. You’ve hit the proverbial wall at your job and don’t see any opportunity for growth.
  5. You aren’t being challenged and aren’t learning new things.

i quit my job

Now, I’m not telling anyone to walk into work in the morning and tell your boss you’re through with your job. That is not my intention with sharing this story. The intention is to make you really think about what you want in life. Not just today, not just over the next year, but over the course of your life. What awakens you? What shakes you to your core? Are you settling for mediocrity? I was.

What I am telling you is to sit with your thoughts about what really makes you tick. If you are able to pursue your passion in your current job, then BY ALL MEANS, hold onto that gem of a job and never let go! If your career still gives you enough time and mental bandwidth to work on your side hustle, KEEP GOING. But if you constantly question where you’re going in your job and if you’re even being challenged to grow anymore– just take some time to think about what you really want. You owe it to yourself to live a happy life. It only happens once.

Photos in this post were taken by the lovely and talented Lindsey of lucidlinds.com at a beautiful loft for sale in Printer’s Alley. For sale by Dee Russell.

i quit my job

…So what’s in store for me now? You’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂 That’s a post for another day.

Thanks for indulging me. Now go do what you love.

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Every year during the holidays, Steve and I try to host a small group of friends at our place to eat dinner, drink cocktails, play board games, and spend quality time together before departing Nashville for Christmas and the New Year. This year we’re so excited to host a dinner party at our new house. It’s going to be extra special with it being the first year hosting as homeowners. I’ve partnered with Basic Invite to show you how simple it was for me to create custom invitations and holiday cards for the occasion.

holiday cardsBasic Invite made it so easy for me to create the ideal, simple, festive holiday invitations. They allow all customers the ability to order an actual printed sample of their invitation so that you can see exactly what it looks like before you ever have to place your final order. You can’t go wrong! You’ll always end up with exactly the invitations or holiday cards you’re looking for.

holiday cardsholiday cardsBasic Invite is also incredibly colorful! They offer just as many custom colors for their envelopes as they do for their invitations. There’s a huge variety of colors to choose from. With over 40 different colors, you’ll always have the perfect custom design you’re trying to achieve. All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.

holiday cardsThey also have their own address capturing service that lets customers simply share a link on whichever social platform they choose to request their friends and family’s addresses. Their addresses are then stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. They make it so easy to organize everything you need to send out holiday cards!
holiday cardsPlanning your own party? Check out Basic Invite for family Christmas party invites! I cannot wait to get these invitations in the mail and have my closest friends over for a lovely holiday dinner party.

Bring on the holiday season! 🙂

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Whew, Monday! You are brutal. I’m happy to throw myself back into a steady routine after several weeks of traveling and being away from home on weekends. I had an incredible time in Orlando with some of my coworkers eating and drinking at the International Food and Wine Festival over the weekend. I’m so glad I went and had some quality time with strong, smart, ambitious women.

stripedAlthough I’m still trying to catch up on rest, I’m more ready than ever to get stuff done and hammer out some new projects and get some more things done around the house. I feel like after the first month or two of getting settled into our house I kind of stepped away from stressing about decorating and making all of the rooms look cohesive. Now I’m excited to get back into it and make our house extra cozy and festive for the holidays.

stripedstripedNow let’s jump into this style post. These are some of my absolute favorite striped jeans from Zara because if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with stripes. My friends were laughing at me all weekend because everything in my suitcase had striped and everything I bought when we were out shopping had stripes as well. S.O.S. someone help me. I need to chill. I decided to wear these striped jeans with a neutral sweater to let the stripes be their own statement. I paired it with my favorite open-toe booties from Vinnie Louise. The camel color is so perfect for autumn.
striped
stripedstripedJeans- Zara // Sweater- Madewell [last season] // Shoes- Vinnie Louise // Cross-body bag– Hush Puppies // Necklace- Lee & Birch

stripedstripedstripedstripedstriped

Photos by Katie Kessel.

Have a great week, everyone!

nashville blogger

Today I’m going to share a bit about my experience at my very first boudoir photoshoot with The Adore Girls. I knew it would take a dose of bravery for me to share this with my readers, but there might be some women out there who have been toying with the idea of booking a photoshoot but haven’t brought themselves to actually doing it yet.

To start, let me give you a short back story…

The past couple years I’ve been in a constant battle with myself about my body. I won’t bore you with the details of all the negative things I’d been thinking about myself, but I’ll tell you I wasn’t nice. Then one day I was contacted by the incredible women behind The Adore Girls and was asked to do a session.

Several things ran through my mind. “I’m scared.” “What will people think of me?” “How do I lose weight in four weeks (while still eating tacos and donuts)?” and “Is this right for me?” I sat on it for a day or two and then finally responded with a YES. “I’ll do it.”

I decided to set aside my inhibitions, doubts, insecurities, and fears to do something for myself that would make me feel like the Laura I once knew. Brave, confident, and comfortable in my own skin. I knew the insecurities I had with my body would come bubbling back up during the photoshoot, but I decided to hell with insecurities. This was something I was going to do for me.

When I arrived at the studio, the women who worked there greeted me with smiling faces and made me feel right at home. The studio itself is a house they turned into a fully-functioning photo studio, so in a way it was a home. They offered me some refreshments (they even have mimosas!) and a place to sit so we could chat about working together. I also brought a full bag of items with me so they could help me pick out what to wear (since I was absolutely clueless and wanted a different opinion). I told them I wanted to be tasteful and have a few photos that I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable sharing since this collaboration would mean sharing a few of the images myself. They looked through my things and made the decision so much easier.

After getting to know their team a little better, I went over to the hair and makeup chair so that their stylist, Sarah, could start working some magic on my mug. She was excellent and made sure she wasn’t giving me a look that was unnatural to me. When she was finished, Jamie took a few head shots of me before I changed into outfit #1 of my wardrobe.

A common misconception: You don’t have to be nude or even half-naked for it to be considered boudoir. Boudoir is about being body confident and feeling beautiful. It doesn’t have to be about sex or gifting a photo of yourself to a significant other.

You also don’t ever have to do anything you don’t want to do.

boudoir photoshoot

boudoir photoshoot

boudoir photoshootboudoir photoshoot

boudoir photoshoot

boudoir photoshoot

boudoir photoshoot

Jamie (the photographer) and her sister were super supportive and easy to work with. They made the entire boudoir photoshoot feel seamless and refreshing. From helping with poses and cracking jokes, we all had a great time. In the end, I felt like a body positive badass who deserved to feel good about getting her photograph taken. I cannot recommend this experience enough.

Don’t ever let anyone (Ahem, even YOURSELF) make you feel like you are unworthy of feeling anything less than beautiful. We can all be mean to ourselves sometimes. Instead of insulting your so-called flaws, try loving them for making you different.

Here are some tips to note before booking a boudoir photoshoot:

  1. Bring multiple outfits/wardrobe items and have your photographer help you choose. They’ll have a better understanding of what photographs well and what doesn’t.
  2. Don’t get a spray tan, spend too much time in a tanning booth, or wear sunless tanner right before a session. Natural looking skin is the most beautiful in photos.
  3. Stay true to yourself. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t feel like yourself in, don’t overdo your hair and makeup, and don’t pose in any way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  4. Relax and be open to the ideas the photographer has. They have way more experience doing boudoir than you do. You might surprise yourself.
  5. Don’t be negative. The photographer is there to bring out the inner beauty and make you feel confident. Be positive and be a goddess.

For anyone interested in booking a boudoir photoshoot, you can book a Dream Session with The Adore Girls for $100 off using code LAURA at checkout. Click here to visit their website.

If anyone has any questions about my experience, PLEASE don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email. I’m happy to give any advice that I can.

And, remember– You are beautiful.

nashville blogger