TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday.

♥finishing my book, finally! ♥ writing 7,000+ words in one day ♥ finding state quarters that my grandpa gave me ♥ water aerobics ♥ working over the weekend ♥ my hair being long enough for a braid ♥ pizza dinner ♥ summer cleaning ♥ dorm shopping ♥ library books ♥ buying my mom's birthday present ♥ dabbling in new designs ♥ my soon to be roommate ♥ 


kaytee lauren

Today we've got one of the top sponsors, Ms. Kaytee Lauren. She agreed to sit down and answer a few questions for me. Enjoy! 

I'm Kaytee, and I blog a lifestyle blog called Kaytee Lauren. I started blogging a few years ago right out of high school without a purpose, and since then I have developed my blog as a way to communicate and meet other bloggers. I have also used my blog as a way to file my favorite recipes and document my first few years of marriage to my husband, Joel.

You've recently been taking a lot of pictures - first anniversaries, senior portraits, maternity pictures. When did you first start to get into photography and realize you loved it?

I studied photography in high school, and always thought I would purse it one day. I always thought it would be just a hobby and I would even build my own dark room one day. I never really took it as a serious career for myself one day. Growing up I often felt like the "photographer" of whatever group I was in, even when I was just working off a regular kodak camera, and I always tried my hardest to get the best pictures I could. Now that I married, my husband and I saw it as a good investment to get a nice camera, not really knowing where it would take us. Since then I have tried out a few different types of portraits like the ones you mentioned, but I am still trying to find myself and what pictures work best for me. I haven't developed my full style yet, which is what I'm currently working on.

The past few months, you've done a "color of the month," explain the story behind it.

A few months ago I contacted my sponsors for information on their blogs so I could put together a sponsor spotlight. Instead of putting together one giant post of all the sponsors, I spotlighted each sponsor on a different day. One of my sponsors asked if I would be interested in letting her guest post on her spotlighted day. Of course I would be interested! Her and I decided to collaborate together and create an outfit post together. We took the color blue and each put together and outfit that looked like spring and showed off the color blue. We really enjoyed doing the post, so the following month we opened the color post to each of our sponsors to join into. We haven't had another one since, but I hope to resume the posts soon.

What are some of your favorite things about blogging?

To be completely honest, I love the people I meet. I have met people from across the US to people in other countries, people that I often think about and pray for. I hope to meet some of the friends I've met through blogging one day. I also like the creativity. Blogging allows you to put everything you love, create, dream of, and capture in your camera onto one big page that you share with others. I have found some of my best ideas through the life of bloggers.

What are some of your plans for the rest of the summer?

This is my first summer of being married, last summer we were planning our wedding, so my husband and I are enjoying the full joys of that. It's also our one year anniversary, so we are celebrating that and fulfilling some of our traveling dreams. This summer is also about finding myself in my photography, like I mentioned earlier.


sponsor Howdy Girl

Yes, that is a lovely picture of my room. I'm not sure why my face is perfectly fine and the rest is blurry.
Anyways, it's that time to call for sponsors for July!

Here's a few stats:

4,000+ views in June and May (separately)
Over 600 followers through facebook, GFC, twitter and pinterest
featured on two major (well, major in my eyes) blogs in June
To check out your options, you can visit my sponsor page. You can also check out there.
If you'd like to swap for a small spot, email me here and we can discuss the possibility (only for blogs that are similar to Howdy Girl).
For everyone else....

I really hope to work with some of y'all next month! 


the undercover redhead

If you've checked out my sponsoring page in the past month, you'll realize two things.

  1. I've switched to passionfruit ads and I love them. Best thing ever.
  2. When I show you the sizes, you'll see buttons for a blog titled "the undercover redhead" with my picture on them.
Let me explain. You see, back at the end of senior year, when I was having a major blogging crisis with where I wanted my blog to go and what I wanted it to be, I was batting around a lot of names.

I thought I settled with the undercover redhead. So, this is a post to explain the story of why I am an undercover redhead.

You see, picture your typical redhead. She's loud, short tempered, and quick with her tongue. And she always has fabulous hair. 

Think Amy Adams when it comes to the hair. We all know she has amazing hair.

Okay, confession time: If you haven't already figured out, I'm not an actual redhead, like, orange hair and everything.

But, in this picture, it's kind of orange! Like an off tinted orange. And, ignore the fact that this photo is almost three years old. 

I'm what people would call a strawberry blonde. And that always prompts people to go "See, blonde is in the name of your hair color, Laura!"

But then the other night, it dawned on me. Strawberries are red. So does that make me a blonde redhead?


And a brunette. 

Yes, the top of my hair is blondeish-redish, but the underside of my hair is super dark, like the rest of my family. I'm the ugly duckling when it comes to hair color!

I may have the looks of a blonde, but mentally I am 100% redhead. I guess, I'm more appropriately a ginger. Light skin, freckles, sunburns easily, did I mention freckles? 

So, yeah, I now consider myself an undercover redhead. 

Don't tell me otherwise or that redhead temper will come out, okay? 

See, I told you I was a brunette too! 


before & after: lindsey



Yes, I did design the "before" design, like, way back in tenth grade. Amazing how much I've developed my skills, huh?

Want a blog facelift? Click here for more details. 


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday.

♥ new chevron printed desk organizers ♥ work this weekend ♥ going to the movies with friends ♥ seeing friends ♥ a day of writing equaling 3,000 words added to the book ♥ recovering from a stomach bug ♥ knowing that the doctor is going to get an update on my thyroid soon ♥ blog designing for a friend ♥ spending a morning with my mom ♥ half priced books ♥  singing at church ♥ water aerobics  


Why I Blog

This post has been a long time coming, but today I decided was the day I needed to address it.

I blog for a lot of reasons. I blog because I've met wonderful people through blogging. I started Howdy Girl out as a writing blog way back when I was on inkpop, trying to get into the top five and get my review from Haper Collins.

Then as I realized, I had much more fun talking to people about things besides my writing. So, my blog expanded and I struggled with a blogger identity crisis over senior year as I changed names multiple times, and just when I thought I'd found one I liked, graduation came and I changed it again.

I blog because I want to be able to look back on these crazy years some day. I blog because I've met some incredible people on the internet. I've grown as a person because of this blog. This blog is like my little diary. I pour my heart and soul into this blog, trying to make it a better place everyday. I want this to be a place where people can read about something in my life and go "I've had that happen to me before."

When someone is hurting, I want to be able to put a smile on their face, I want to be able to comfort people, I want people to be happy here, but I realize not everything is always happy and smiley. And you guys have been there for me when life hasn't been happy and smiley.

And I want to be there for you guys. Blogging is a community, and the past two years I've dumped myself into the ocean of bloggers and I've realized that someone who lives in Australia may have the same problems as I do and knowing other people suffer from the same things, it's a little comfort to know I'm not the only one.

While this blog is a diary, it's also a business. Part of the name change was for marketing, I mean, "pens and a camera lens designs" is a mouth full. I want to see growth in my business and in my blog. I want to connect to people I may not have never known if it weren't for the two.

This is the place where I can be me - 100% me. I don't have to hide things for lack of appreciation. I'm pretty sure if I decided to dye my hair blue you guys would be totally on board.

This place has been a saving grace in many ways, too many to name them all off. But every time I turn for support, you guys never fail. I really thank you for that.

These are just some of the reasons I blog, so now I want to know, why do you blog?


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

    "Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an             effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And  we’d love for you to join us!"

♥ doctor's appointment that went well ♥ snowcones ♥ cheap books at the used book store ♥ evening summer showers ♥ dorm room shopping ♥ friends who are there for me when I need them ♥ my phone still working! ♥ having a clean room for about ten minutes ♥ writing on the weekend ♥ work ♥ sleeping in ♥ reading ♥ 


This klutz.... Ain't a klutz anymore

So, after years of being teased by my family for being a major klutz, apparently I am not a klutz anymore.

You see, yesterday I went to the neurologist (I go for my thyroid and my passionate hatred for silverware). There's the test where you have to stand on a little platform. Three times with your eyes opened, three times with your eyes closed.

Then after, they place this squishy block on the platform. Remember those pits they used to have will all the balls and those Styrofoam blocks? It's made out of that stuff. And you stand on the block and repeat the same tests.

Okay, the ones where you have your eyes closed are super hard. You have to stand as still as possible and try not to fall off.

When you go back to talk to the doctor, he has a little circular graph (with all the quadrants) and the graph has X's and O's on it. The point of the graph is to get all the X's and O's as close to the middle as possible.

Apparently I did that. I mean, they weren't smack dab in the middle, they were a litte higher, but they were all together.

The doctor said it was one of the best results he'd ever seen.

I'm not gonna lie, it's weird. I mean, those results basically prove I am not a klutz, but then how else do you explain wiping out on the bowling lanes at work?

I think I'm having an identity crisis guys.

But, while I have my identity crisis, I'm going to shamelessly spam you with promotion, because, well, it's my blog, I get to do what I want, right?

Don't forget, first Howdy Girl newsletter is going out to inboxes Friday morning!

And, oh, look, how convient that I've provided a sign up link right here! -hint hint-

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


to the bottom of the lake [the phone goes] + giveaways!

Seriously, I'm becoming addicted to sleep! More so that I already was! So, I guess that doesn't make me a recoveree?

All jokes aside, what a weekend I had. Thursday and Friday I was at SHSU for freshman orientation!! That's where the sleeping kick came full force. Friday after we checked out, I went to the George HW Bush Presidential Library.

Guys, this guy did everything. (Clarification, this is the one before Clinton, not the one who just left a few years ago, okay?) Seriously, he was director of the CIA, the ambassador to China and the UN, VP and President.

Anyways, time to switch gears. This weekend, I'm camping out (not literally) at my grandparents house in Austin. Yesterday, we went to the lake for a picnic with my grandparents friends. I snagged a few photos before my phone ended up at the bottom of the lake.

(Don't worry, somehow it's working perfectly fine.)

It's ladder golf! It's fun, slightly addicting and pretty simple! 

This is about the same spot where my phone went down. You see, I was standing behind my brothers and sister, as they kicked their legs in the water. My brother, as a joke (he's special needs, so he didn't realize it was a bad idea) tried to grab me and throw me in the water. I survived the attempt but my phone didn't.

It slowly began to sink until my sister dove in to grab it.

Like I said, it ended up being fine, but still that moment of watching my little iPhone fall to the bottom of the lake was kind of horrifying.

Enough of that sad story (that turned out good!) How about two giveaways? Yeah, you read that right. Two as in plural! Yes, if you go over to Confessions of a Graphic Design Student, you can enter a giveaway where you will win a blog design and an accompanying facebook page design from me!

Confessions of a GDS

The other giveaway is with the Better Blogger Network! Woohoo!


Things I'm Grateful For

Things I'm Grateful For is a weekly link up between myself and Ashley + Nathan where we look back to appreciate things from the past week.

♥ graduation ♥ seeing family and friends as we celebrated ♥ freshman orientation ♥ late nights with new friends and old ♥ Applebee's at 12 AM Monday morning ♥ shopping trip with a best friend who's moving in August too ♥ new watch ♥ summer thunderstorms ♥ bounce houses ♥ first midnight premiere of a movie ♥ sleeping in until at least nine every morning ♥ Wednesday night traditions of starbucks with church friends ♥ new shoes ♥ editing and rewriting ♥ my big Texas poster my sister made me ♥ moving day countdown 

Now it's your turn to share what you're grateful for from the past week! 




i'm done.

with high school!!! Finally, the day y'all have had to listen to me talk about for months has finally come and passed!

I am no longer a Flo Mo jaguar, thank the Lord. So, now, here's a look back on my high school life.

Freshman year, tennis dominated my life. I was on JV.

Sophomore year saw my confirmation and some crazy shows.  

junior year is where, I personally, believe I began to sort of blossom in my appearance and the things I did. After my show the summer before junior year, I stopped doing shows. Haven't been on a stage acting since. For the first time in my life, I had a boyfriend. I cut my hair, I had my book read by a publishing company. It was a big year for me. 

Senior year. I realized I have more photos of senior year than I do of all the other years combined, no joke. Maybe it goes with the whole "blossoming" thing. 

from top, going clockwise.
1.) Photoshoot with my friend, Allie.
2.) Prom with Allie
3.) Different photoshoot with Allie (this was Friday)
4. Another photoshoot with Allie (we did three)
5. Evie and I had fun with the silly glasses in Claire's. 
6. I got to meet an elephant at Texas A&M!!
7. Cut my hair back in December. It's been forever since I've had it that short. 
8. More fun with Evie

It was a crazy four years, and I honestly can not believe it's over. Nuts. Just nuts. 
Tomorrow I'll have on on graduation. 


a pointless post

this is basically a pretty pointless post, but I'm gonna have fun with anyways.

I graduate tomorrow.

John and his girlfriend apparently did NOT break up. (sad day.)

I get to go to his house tonight and jump in a bouncehouse. (you know you're jealous).

I had a party today, my sister took down on the decorations before I could take pictures.

I think I've covered everything, so I will leave you with the wonderful picture that Mariella took of me while we were skyping. That's my box of dishes I got for graduation present. Yeah, enjoy.



Wow.... What an interesting week it has been. If you remember, around this time last year, I went through my first break up. I'd post the link where I talked about it, but I just read it. It's....

Wow, what an idiot I was, we'll just say that.

Well, he dumped me the....twenty-fourth. A number which had always been lucky for me, and that's the reason I remember the date, it no longer was lucky (it is now).

The one year since we broke up was last week, and on the exact day, I met a guy. We'll call this boy.... John. Anyways, I'd talked to John before, but this was the first time I'd ever met him.

Anyways, two days after I met John, the ex messaged me on Facebook saying that he wanted to sit down and meet with me to talk about things.


I've talked to the guy.... four times, maybe, since we broke up. And all of the sudden he wants to meet me?

Don't you find the timing just a little bit too suspicious? I did. But since I can't be mean to people because I'm easily guilt tripped, I was nice and had a conversation with him.

Anyways, haven't talked to him since Wednesday... I think.

But, Thursday night, my friend, we'll call him.... Max and his girlfriend.... Sharon (I'm awful at making up names for my friends!) called me to tell me they were taking me to the midnight premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman. 

First, I can't even BELIEVE that my parents let me go. Second, we got there at like, 9:45, and they didn't seat until 11:30. So all of us went to the bar and ordered sodas and stuff. Well, at, like, 10:30 Sharon called John (they're really good friends, she's how I originally met John) and told him he needed to come to the theater with us.

So Max went to go pick up John because Max was bored, and this guy from our church kind of invited himself. Let's just say he smells bad and creeps me out. (I know Max and Sharon from church. Are you following all of this?)

We sat down when they opened the theater and I ended up sitting between creepy guy and John.

Let's just say, I'm pretty sure there was flirting. Or maybe John is just a friendly guy. But, don't take my word for it when I say there was, I'm not still up to date on WHAT EXACTLY qualifies as flirting.

Yeah. Needles to say, at three am, I had hormones running rampant.

Hormones that haven't been around since, well last year. I mean, I guess it's nice to know that I'm still human.

And then, yesterday, Sharon, John and I had lunch at Wendy's. And I sat next to John. Again.

Yes, if you could see me, you would realize that I am the definition of awkward around good looking guys.

While I am excited that John and his girlfriend broke up yesterday, I am more excited about the fact that John and I are going to the same school next year.

It's been a good week. :)

TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

"Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!"

♥Family in town for graduation and my brother's confirmation  re-launching the blog ♥ summer! ♥ lunch with friends ♥ talking to a person I thought had left my life for good ♥ having my dad in town most of the week ♥ not having to take my AP Euro final ♥ passing stats ♥ being "kidnapped" and spending a great night with my friend ♥ the cooler weather after the rain ♥ having a good weekend at work ♥ watching my brother play basketball ♥ three day weekend ♥ day and a half week at school ♥ cleaning my room....sorta 

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