Monday, February 23, 2015

on love.

I used to think that love was this elusive thing, like February 29th or Halley's Comet, that would travel through your hemisphere only once in a blue moon, and you were lucky if, and only if, you were able to catch it as it flew by. This notion stuck with me throughout most of my young life--through the YA romance novels, the Nicholas Sparks movies, the Pablo Nerudas, the sappy/sad songs, and especially the "can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series" kinda stuff (bonus points for naming that reference).  

But then one day I fell in love. And everything I had previously thought seemed to be completely validated. 

It was passionate, and dizzying, and exciting, and fun and just about everything else you'd ever expect from falling in love for the first time. For a while, this person was the glue that was holding me together, until all of the sudden, he wasn't. And when I fell apart, so did the very foundation of the thing I had always believed to be "love."

Piecing your life back together after something like this is no easy task. However inconsequential and small it may seem in the grand scheme of things, heartbreak is a real, physical type of pain that manifests itself by twisting your stomach into all kinds of knots, and bringing out the ugliest of insecurities. And man, it just hurts. But what I've learned is that if you can get through it--not over it, but through it--there is a wholeness waiting for you on the other side. This wholeness is best described, and I say this in the most non-cheesy and un-ironic way possible, as true love. Real love, even. It's the type of love that makes you confident in the person you are, independent of other people. The type of love that keeps you from feeling lonely, even when you're alone. You can find it in the love of your friends, and your family, and your God, and the world around you, and most importantly, you find it in yourself.

This past Valentine's Day weekend was a gentle reminder that love is no longer an elusive thing to me. It's not something you have to spend your whole life searching for, nor is it a game of cat and mouse. Love is simply always there. It's in those quiet moments, watching a VHS copy of Maverick in a dingy cabin in rural Southern Colorado with some of your best friends. It's in those late night talks, those heated games of Settlers of Catan, those blissful drives, blasting your "girl power" playlist with the windows rolled down--it's there. All you have to do is recognize it.

The universe owes you absolutely nothing, yet, in any circumstance, there is always goodness to be found.

If that isn't love, I don't know what is.


Friday, February 13, 2015

You'll never guess what this blogger did after 2 months of not blogging...

That's right. She blogged.

Now that I've reeled you in in the best way I know how (attention-grabbing, open ended statement followed by completely underwhelming response), you'll notice that I've finally decided to actually write a blog post again. This new development comes after two solid months of neglecting my poor laptop, which hardly ever gets used anymore because of the following reasons:

a) I got a real-person job--complete with swivel chairs, a desktop computer, office gossip, and an entire break room full of treats--which eliminates my need to work from home.

b) Every time I use my laptop, it does that thing where it heats up really fast and starts making a sound like it's about to launch itself into outer space.

c) I am now the proud owner of an iPad. I'm one of those "iPad people" now.

But once I realized that none of those things are good enough excuses to walk away from this space that I love so much, and also because my mom uses this blog to make sure I'm still alive, I've decided to come crawling back and beg you to love me again.

Let me get real with you for a second, though. I have had a difficult time blogging for the past few years--not because of a lack of time, but because I worry that I've pigeonholed myself so far into this space to the point where I don't always feel like this is a platform where I can talk about things that matter to me most and affect me the deepest. As much as I love fashion, I don't feel like I ever wanted this to be purely a "fashion blog" because, while personal style is fun and yes, I believe it's important, it's not everything.

Moving forward into this new year (yeah middle of February that works too), I want this blog to be a source of inspiration in all aspects of life--whether that be fashion, beauty, art, relationships, careers, things, stuff, etc. (Did my blog just become Seventeen Magazine for twenty-somethings? Yes. Yes it did). You see, most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. This season of life is so scary, and frustrating, and exciting, and good--basically everything Taylor Swift says it is, and I know a lot of you are experiencing the same thing. So how about we create a space where we can talk about it? I don't know exactly what that means yet, but maybe you can help me figure it out.

All I'm saying is that you better buckle-freaking-up because you're going to hear a lot more from me. But at the same time, I want to hear from you as well. If there's anything that you want to see more of on this blog, a submission for a guest post, a question for advice, or just something important that you want me to address here, let me know! Comment, email me, snapchat me, skywrite me, actually write me (pen pals, anyone?). I don't care, just get ahold of me and let's chat!

I love you all, I really do. I hope I didn't make this weird. But if I did, I at least hope it was the good kind of weird.


Friday, December 5, 2014

All Night Long

top: target
jeans: hm
jacket: f21
shoes: new balance
backpack: tessel supply

Lately I've been pulling a lot of accidental all-nighters. I say accidental because the night usually starts with me getting into bed around 10pm thinking, "Wow, look at me. I'm SO ADULT RIGHT NOW" but then one thing leads to another, and BAM--it's 3am and I'm on some obscure spam-filled website, clicking through a gallery of pictures explaining all of Justin Bieber's tattoos.

We've all been there.

But then I tell people I stayed up till 4 in the morning and they're like, "Wait, you're not even in school. What are you doing up so late?" And it's a valid question. So for anyone that's ever asked, here are some highlights from last night:

- starting this blog post, then hitting writers block after one sentence.

- "Outfit Planning," which is really just code for "pulling everything out of my closet, taking gratuitous mirror selfies, and climbing in bed after resolving to hang everything back up tomorrow."

- going through all of Taylor Swift's tumblr archives and finally reaching that point where you think, how can I get Taylor Swift to notice me and want to be my best friend and invite me over to her house to play with her cat make inside jokes with her... without sounding like a desperate fangirl?

- ...


- getting a burst of energy and deciding to do push ups. But actually doing maybe 4 pushups...which are really just me in plank position slightly bending my elbows.

- hearing mysterious noises in my house and classifying them into three categories: 1) normal house sounds, 2) intruder sounds, 3) ghost sounds.

- feeling extra paranoid and turning on an episode of The Colbert Show to drown out categories 2 and 3.

- having an anxiety attack over small, inconsequential embarrassing things I did like 3 years ago.

- emotionally-induced songwriting.

- deciding to become vegetarian.

- making my first ever food-related board on Pinterest, and somehow feeling like I'm finally maturing because I pinned recipes that involve quinoa.

- finally doing that one little thing for work that I've been putting off all day, and taking about 6x longer than I should because I keep getting lost in a buzzfeed vacuum.

- getting back to this blog post and falling asleep with my computer in my lap 2 minutes later.

I have now reached level-10 procrastination because I actually procrastinate doing the things I'm using to procrastinate doing actual things I have to get done. It's like procrasti-ception.

Gosh, I have issues.

xo, Lo

Monday, December 1, 2014

Post Black Friday Recovery + a Musana Jewelry Giveaway

dress: f21
jacket: gap
necklace: c/o Musana Jewelry
boots: c/o shoe carnival

If you're like me, you're probably recovering from the hellish monstrosity that was Black Friday shopping. Black Friday, I've realized, is the consumerist equivalent of a toxic relationship; The more you hate it, the more you can't resist it. But we all do it anyways, and yes, we hate ourselves for it. So as I was waiting in line just to get in to J. Crew, wearing an outfit that could only be described as something between "tired soccer mom" and "hobo," watching hoards of people destroy each other over the 3 dollar bins, I thought, there has to be more to life than this. 

So on this hollowed Cyber Monday, if you're needing your faith in humanity restored, let me introduce you to a really awesome local company called Musana Jewelry. Musana is a social enterprise that not only sells cute jewelry, but provides stable employment and educational opportunities to women in Uganda. Each piece of jewelry is designed and handcrafted by a woman in Uganda. Through the Musana enterprise, these artisans not only gain valuable skills and a steady income to lift them out of poverty, but are also empowered through classes in literacy, entrepreneurship, and health. 

Today, Musana is also giving away a necklace or jewelry item of your choice to one lucky Awkward Girls reader! All you have to do is like their Facebook page, and follow the instructions in the widget below. The contest will end next Monday, and a winner will be chosen and contacted through email the next day. Good luck! 

Oh, and for all you Cyber Monday shoppers out there, Musana is offering 20% off their entire website, today only, with the code: CYBERMONDAY

xo, Lo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Thing About November

top: hm
skirt: hm (similar)
shoes: bass

Historically, the autumn months are not a good time for me. In the past, this time of the year is typically racked with breakups, sad playlists, and that post-summer weight gain that inevitably comes when your body is physically prepping for the winter like animals do when they're getting ready for hibernation (and it has nothing to do with the fact that I ate 7 cookies for breakfast this morning because they were the closest edible thing in proximity to my bed). It's science. Look it up.

But this year, I'm finally starting to embrace November. September and October have and always will suck, I've accepted that. But, November, people. November is when things get good again. 

When all it takes to keep you going is the knowledge that you're getting at least one giant home-cooked meal this month.

When you can wear all black and not be asked if you're supposed to be a witch or a cat. 

When you don't feel obligated to go out on the weekends because the icy cold weather is curbing FOMO, and replacing it with FODITS (Fear Of Driving In The Snow).

When you can finally decide that this will be the year you start wearing turtlenecks again, and buy one, only to return it the next day because you can't get over how much you look like Steve Jobs in it. 

When November Sweeps pulls through and your favorite TV couples finally get together and everything is right with the world.

When beanies and beards start making their long awaited comeback and every male becomes instantaneously more attractive (or maybe you're just getting more desperate but either way, it's good).

So here's to November and all the beautiful little things that come with it. I would advise you to go to Trader Joe's and buy all the "pumpkin" flavored items you can get ahold of. Watch the Thanksgiving episode of Gossip Girl just to get into the spirit of the season. Take game-changing pictures of your feet in the fall leaves like no one has ever done before, because you can. November is a time to do what you wanna do and be who you wanna be, and no one can stop you. 

Plus, our diet starts December 1st. 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dates, decor, and other grown up things.

At the beginning of this year, I was set up on a date with a guy who was in his thirties. He had been well out of college, owned his own company, drove a sleek black car, sported some really awesome facial hair; you know, super impressive and totally had his crap together. I, at the time, was a soon-to-be college grad and emotional wreck, with my crap very much not together. Needless to say, it didn't work out. But that's besides the point. 

While on that date, I asked him if he had any advice for someone who was about to graduate college. He sat on the question for a cool minute, before giving a response that was completely underwhelming:

"Don't buy furniture."

Half disappointed, half amused, I just took it. And it wasn't until the moment I was standing in an IKEA, deciding between the Fürgendürgen and the Hügendögen for my first unfurnished "big girl" apartment, that I realized what he meant; If I buy this, what am I supposed to do with it when I want to move out? Does buying this mean I'm stuck here? Will I ever get out of Utah? What's the meaning of life?... And that is precisely how a quarter-life crisis is born. In the middle of a Swedish superstore. All because I didn't listen to the thirty-something beard guy with his crap together.

Though the permanence that comes with buying furniture is still what keeps me up at night, I've actually grown to really enjoy decorating this little space of mine since then. So much so, that I posted this picture on Instagram, and a few of you asked if I would talk about it on the blog. Eventually I'll give you a glimpse into my whole apartment, and maybe even take higher quality pics. But this is what you get for now.

So let's start with my desk.
I work from home a lot so creating a space that was actually comfortable and enticing for me to work at was at the top of my priority list. I ended up finding this one from Target, and at the time it was 30% off (currently it's $109.99). I originally saw it in the natural wood finish and fell in love, but Target only had it in white and I was too antsy to order online. The square shelves on top of my desk are also from Target and a similar one can be found HERE.

Art Prints 
Once upon a time I worked at The Gap and in a sad twist of fate, the store closed. The plus side to that- we got to raid the store's visuals, where I found that black and white print above my desk, framed and everything. The other prints are just ripped from an old coffee table book about Missoni I found at a thrift store for $4, mixed in with a few black and white photography prints from yours truly. The moral of the story here is that you can find cool stuff in the least expected of places, so always be on the look out! Expert tip: black and white washi tape is really great for the effect, but horrible at keeping your pictures up. Use mounting putty in addition to the tape so your pictures don't fall down in the middle of the night and give you a damn heart attack.

Aside from making your parents think you're really into drug culture, this is also a cheap, easy way to decorate your walls. I chose the word "DOPE" because, well, it's dope. But the possibilities are endless. I bought mine at JoAnn's and used the app to get 40% off my purchase.

Almost everything else (rug, fur pillow, cork board, succulents, picture frames) are from IKEA, because, duh. My chair was $5.00 from DI (holla), and the shelving unit was inherited from a friend.

The desk lamp was actually from my freshman year of college. It used to have this giant ugly plastic thing at the bottom where you could store pens and pencils, so I was about to throw it away until I realized that underneath the plastic eyesore was a cool, chrome base. I just took a hammer to the poor thing, and there you have it.

I still don't know what I'm going to do with all this stuff when I move out, and I still don't know when that will be, or what my future holds, but what I do know is that I finally feel happy and comfortable being home, and taking the time to put a personal touch into your space makes all the difference.

So take that, beard-guy.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Life lessons from my high school diary.

On Family:
"I need to be less rude to my parents. It's my worst habit. Other than not wearing my retainer."

On Vocabulary:
"It's an analogy. Have you ever noticed there's the word anal in that?"

On Responsibility:
"So I got this 50 dollar bill today, and at some point I got up and left it sitting on the table. Mom and Cindy decided to teach me a 'responsibility lesson' by hiding it from me. When I finally found it, I went back downstairs and like an hour later I realized I didn't have the money. So I start frantically searching for it and freaking out. Then Cindy comes up to me, reaches in my shirt, and pulls the bill out of my bra. I put it there after I lost it the first time so I wouldn't lose it again. I feel like such an idiot."

On Education:
"High school is just a big fat suffering contest."

On Spelling:
"Definately [sic]."

On Priorities:
"What's something I want to be remembered for when I die? That I had good taste in music."

On Friendship:
"I want to slap her every time she talks about him. Which is all the time"

On Setting Goals:
"Well I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I don't screw this up!" (October 21, 2007)

"So I may have screwed this up." (October 23, 2007)

On Dating:
"Never kiss a guy who, at any point in his life, has had a mullet and/or rattail."

On Humility:
"Sometimes I wish I could be really selfish. Because people who are selfish always get exactly what they want, and they don't even feel bad about it. Haha. Sucks to be such a good person."

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