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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! 🙂

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

 

Today I’m celebrating Lifestyle Blogging Basics being on the Amazon Best Sellers List for 6 months! To commemorate the occasion, I’m hosting a giveaway for all those who want to celebrate with me. I’m also going to be releasing the paperback version of my book in a couple weeks, so stay tuned for more information!

lifestyle blogging basics

About the giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book. All you have to do is fill out the entries below. Buying the ebook and leaving a review earn you 3x points!

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers. Giveaway ends on the evening of Sunday, August 27th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If there’s one accessory that always looks good on a man, it’s a good watch. If it’s a stylish, cool, and unique watch, that’s just a bonus. Some of you may recall a few months back when I shared a post about my favorite wood watch from JORD. I’m excited to share that they recently released a brand new series of men’s watches called The Conway that come in beautiful designs and stunning colors. The Conway Series includes metal accents to compliment the gorgeous wood options, which now includes Kosso and Walnut.

men's wood watch
men's wood watch

As I browsed through their collection, I knew exactly which one would be perfect for my husband, Steve. Since he has a wardrobe full of dark browns and navy blues, I picked out the dark sandalwood and burgundy wood watch to complement his go-to color scheme. If you’re looking for a classic and timeless men’s wood watch, I highly recommend taking a look at JORD’s collection.

Their watches run between $129-$395 in price and they have a huge variety of styles and colors. They also offer custom sizing with an easy-to-use size guide. Our watches came ready to go on our wrist with no need to add or remove links.

men's wood watch

men's wood watch
To view my last post on JORD wood watches, click here. I selected a beautiful piece from the Frankie collection in the colors Koa and Ash and I’m still in love with it.
men's wood watch

men's wood watch

To celebrate my new-found love for these men’s wood watches, I’m hosting a giveaway! One lucky person will win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site.

Enter the giveaway here!

BONUS: For everyone who enters, you will receive a consolation code worth $25 once the contest ends. Enter now to take advantage of $25 off a wood watch of your own! You have until 3/19 to enter the giveaway. JORD will select a winner and everyone will be emailed their coupon code. The code will expire on 5/31. Good luck! 


Wooden Wristwatch

It’s officially launch day of my book Lifestyle Blogging Basics: A How-To for Investing in Yourself, Working with Brands, and Cultivating a Community Around Your Blog and I’m so happy to share it with the world! To celebrate my launch, the book is FREE on Amazon through tomorrow, so click here and grab yourself a copy now!

lifestyle blogging basics

After today, the price goes up to $0.99 and 100% of proceeds for the first month of sales will go directly to SowHope.org, a nonprofit focusing exclusively on the holistic needs of women living in extreme poverty. Every sale makes a difference!

In this how-to guide for lifestyle blogging basics, I break down how I got started with my first blog, how I progressed, and what failed attempts at success I made along the way.

The book begins with covering the essential groundwork of discovering your niche, defining your content categories, choosing a blog name, selecting a platform, and creating a healthy and attainable blogging routine.

Then, it takes a deep dive into describing the the most effective ways to invest in yourself and your blog by explaining the importance of quality design, high resolution photos, email marketing services, and more.

You’ll also learn how to partner and collaborate with brands by building an online media kit, how to promote your blog on social media, and how to create a thriving community around your blog that will stand the test of time.

Learn more about the book here.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the book launch so far. I’m forever grateful!