27.6.13

Summer Shoe Style


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Shoedazzle, but all opinions are my own. 

Though you couldn't tell by the lack of outfit posts on this blog, I love fashion. I love following the trends and watching how people embrace them.

I just never get around to getting to them, but I love watching them.

I'm not a big clothes person, but I'm a huge shoes person. I keep shoes until they fall apart. I have shoes that I got in sixth grade and I still have them. And I seem to be buying more and more shoes for the "WHAT IF I NEED THESE MOM!?" moments. 

As a poor college kid, I'm always motivated by deals. And cheap stuff. Shoedazzle gives me both. You get 25% off your order in the first two days. And they're prices are a steal. I saw shoes that are usually $99 for $45 and $15. 

Even better? They're shoes are cute! 



And because it's summer, you know you want something light and comfy. I wear tennis shoes way too much because of my closet, but you know if I had something cute to wear, I'd totally pair it with those orange sandals down in Huntsville for my bearkat spirit. Or my love of purple? Totally want those flats!  And I'm a huge fan of black shoes (they actually look good with my snow white feet), so I love both sets of black shoes. 

Besides these, there's so many you can choose from! Shoedazzle created a quiz that will help customize the shoes they show you. I'm a lover of high heels (as long as I don't have to stand for too long). I bought three inch and five inch heels for senior prom and homecoming, respectively. Took the prom shoes to college with me, and you know there'll be heels in My Showroom.

Signing up is super easy, and you get that 25% discount after you take the quiz! 


So, hop on over and tell me what your favorite shoes are! 

26.6.13

Ginger Snaps

First, thank you so, so SO much for all the love and support regarding my announcement yesterday! It warms my heart so much to see so much support from people of all walks of life! Y'all are pretty awesome!


Besides self-publishing, I've been working on some other stuff too. Y'all all know about my love for photography. It's a passion of mine, capturing life in the moment.

Y'all also probably know about Maple Bluebonnet and how excited I was about that. Well, I learned that co-owning a business is hard. Co-owning a business with your best friend is harder. Co-owning a business with your best friend who works weekends is ridiculously hard.

So, RIP MBB, but that leads me to something even more exciting.


I didn't come up with the name, a college friend/photographer did, but I loved it too much not to use it. I'll be working on the website this week, hoping to have it up and running by next week! So excited, I couldn't wait to tell you. 

25.6.13

"When is Your Book Going to be Published?"



I get that above question a lot. Ever since inkpop and my harpercollins review. That was almost three years ago. Crazy to think, three years ago, I was hovering in the 40s, struggling to get my book higher. I remember going on vacation for a week and having to tell all my friends "take care of my baby while I'm gone!" because I knew whatever damage happened while I was gone was going to hard to undo. 

Three years.

That's after I kept my writing private for two and a half. I still remember the day I came across inkpop, but that's another story. In August.....no, September, it'll have been six years since I started my book. Six wonderful, frustrating and agonizing years.

But you can only retell the story so many different ways before you either hit gold or hit the wall.

And I think this time I've hit gold. 

A few friends have read the just finished (but still needs MAJOR editing) draft, and the response has been wonderful - giving me hope.

The plan has always been to eventually finish it, query, snatch an agent, land a book deal and become a best selling author. Those were the rules of the game, that's how they've pretty much always been.

Then last week, I saw the plan change in a instant. Well, okay, maybe it didn't change in an instant, but I saw the change in an instant. In fact, I feel like this has been a long time coming. 

I decided to hell with the rules. I want to make my own rules. 

Which is why I'm going to self-publish. 

But.... There is a catch. Because of my financial situation (thanks college!), I'll only be publishing it as an ebook, at least for the moment. I know The Assassin will be on kindle and nook, that's a given. iBooks is to be determined. There's a lot of research that goes into it. I know those are the three major ebook platforms, but if there are others, please, by all means, let me know! 

As far as when it'll be available, I don't know. Probably some time next year, maybe May? That's a total shot in the dark, it's got a lot to go through before it's ready for the world to see, but I'm excited. 

So, now, this is where I need y'all. Self-publishing is scary and exciting, but I can't do it on my own. Publicity is hard, I worked publicity in the publishing industry - I know. Any love you wanna give me, I will love you forever! 

But, to everyone who has followed me and supported me throughout the years - thank you times a gazillion, and I hope you'll stick around just a little bit longer! 

24.6.13

A Change of Direction


Lately, a lot of things have changed in my life. The start of businesses, the new job in downtown Dallas  (see above picture^^), the writing, everything seems to have changed.

With all of these changes, I've had a change in priorities. It's been a long time coming, but I never really noticed the shift until recently. Pretty amazing what happens after the fact, eh? 

This shift has occured in my public life, my private life, my professional life, my personal life, and my blogger life. I want to be a better blogger. I want to meet more bloggers, which is why I've opened up sponsoring again, but it'll be very limited. 

I've made a major decision this weekend about my book, but that's a whole post in itself (I started the sequel Friday!). My photography is about to take a whole new approach and my Mary Kay business is really picking up! There's so much to be hopeful for in the next few weeks. 

This week will be a good week.

I refuse to believe anything else.

Attitude is a big part of the direction I'm going in. So stay positive! 

22.6.13

Weddin' Bells

This post is sponsored by Minted but opinions are all my own. 


I'm a girl. I'm on pinterest all the time. Combine those two things and you bet that I have a wedding board on my pinterest account. And as a girl with an eye for design, I want everything to look amazing. Everything from the setting, to the plates, to the dress and suits, the bridesmaids dresses' and the pictures we'll have done.


I love the idea of color themes in a wedding, and when it comes time to redesign this ole' blog, I often turn to wedding boards on pinterset for color ideas. But until now, I've never really thought of what I want for my wedding colors, but it's awfully fun to think about it, right?




Over the past few years, pink has really begun to grow on me. I love this pink because it isn't "SCREAM IN MY FACE" pink, it's a little more subdued, but it's still feminine and pretty. The yellow is a great color to compliment the pink, and it's neutral, so the man doesn't have to feel like it's completely girly! I'm usually not a fan of that shade of green, but on the wedding invitation, it works well with the other colors. 





Okay, confession, I absolutely love coral. I love how it's bright and bold and just the right amount of red and pink and orange all together. I love it with teal and with mint. You can't go wrong with either pair. And on that wedding invitation, I love that font! Font junkie right here!


Ombre Stripes by Jill Means, see more Minted.com
Ombre Stripes board by Jill Means. See more Minted.com


So, because I'm Catholic, I can't actually get married on a beach, but that doesn't mean I don't want a beach wedding. Can I have two weddings? I love the happy, breezy look of the beach, that ombre cake and the stripes on the wedding invitation. After looking at these, I'm pretty sure I should get married in the church, the get hitched for the government on the beach. Can I do that? 


Gold, Navy, Pink Inspiration  by Rachel, see more Minted.com
Gold, Navy, Pink Inspiration board by Rachel. See more Minted.com
Pink + Navy is another one of my favorite color schemes, and adding gold just makes it so much better! The pink is such a fun but feminine color, and the navy is more masculine, so they balance out. I love the paint stripes of the wedding invitation too. 

I love bits and pieces out of all these boards, I don't know which one I would choose! Gosh! Good thing I've got a few years still, right? 

Out of all of these, what is your favorite? 

21.6.13

The Lovely Lists, Week One

I'm so excited to start doing this. After I finished the "Catholic to the Core" series, there hasn't been anything that's really been constant on the blog. And I'm a firm believer in spreading the inspiration (not the wealth :P), so here are a few lists of my favorite things I've found this week.

BLOG POSTS//


SONGS//



RANDOM AWESOMENESS//

Almost to 40,000 words of The Assassin
A secret surprise that I'm hoping to announce next week
Earning a beautiful necklace from Mary Kay for placing a big order! 
Finding a happy place between everything I do. 

Those are just some of the lovely things I've noticed this week. What about you? 

19.6.13

36 Thousand Killer Words



I don't ever seem to talk about it anymore, which is a shame since my love for writing is what made me start this blog. 

But today, I'm gonna talk about my book, The Assassin. That crazy little thing I've been working on now for almost six years (six in September). My book has gone through a lot. From the green little notebook I wrote the first murder scene, to figure out how important pacing is in a book. Cassie went from the age of 14 to the age of twenty, stopping at seventeen along the way.

Her story developed. From a kid living in New York City with a dad and best friends, now she's a college student at Sam (yes, my Sam) with no family or anything. She's guarded, a lot like me. 

But what I want for Cassie seems to be a lot more realistic now. It's easier to see how those things would happen now. 

My major goal is to finish this book by the end of June (ha...ha... I crack myself up sometimes) and for Nano in July, I want to work on the sequel. I have no idea what the plot for the second book is, but hell, I don't really know what the plot of this book is. 

Not knowing where the story is going is proving to be half the fun (and a whole lot of headache). I  have 36,000 words. I need about 20,000-25,000 more words and I only know where the last 5,000 words of The Assassin. I'm pretty much bull shitting (it's my blog, I can cuss if I want!) my way to that last 5,000 words.  

So, there's a huge gap that I have to fill in. Right now, I'm just trying to get words down on paper. The editing and adding and cutting will come in August after I finish the sequel. Y'all, I can feel it in my bones. After I edit this draft - this will be the one. 

The one I think I can publish. 

The publishing world has changed so much since I started writing. What if I end up with an e-book publisher like Entranced or Entangled? 

Maybe I'll end up with a big house like Random House or Harper Collins (wouldn't that be funny?)

Even though six years seems like a long time, I'll carry this book with me the rest of my life. 

Crazy stuff, huh?


18.6.13

Car Shots and a Wal

Shirt: Goodwill | Jeans: Target | Boots: Cavender's | Necklace: Charming Charlie's | Earrings + Bracelet: Rue 21 (see, my wardrobe is expanding!)Ga





The other night, my friend and I went to a local shopping center that is pretty much a ghost town and did a few pictures. I've wanted to do a car shoot for a long time, and thankfully, with my help, she was able to pull of a some pretty cool shots. 

I'm working on some really big things for photography that I can't wait to share - including her pictures! 

13.6.13

Enjoy Today

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I've always been one to plan for the future. All of my biggest dreams are things that I want later in life, like when I'm in my mid-twenties, graduated from college, living on my own, completely free and independent. 

I struggle to live in the moment to just enjoy life as it comes. I'm always telling myself the time for that will be later.

But what if there is no later? I could walk out of work tonight, get in a horrible car accident and die. I mean, I hope not, I've got fun plans this weekend, but it's a possibility. You don't know what life is going to throw at you. 

And while planning for the future is always a good idea, sometimes we've got to just live in the moment. Whether it's just enjoying the fact that I've got a good job here that I'm learning a lot from, or the fact that I get to live at home for the summer.

Sometimes all of us just need to enjoy today and the beauty today holds. 

12.6.13

College Textbooks

This post is sponsored by Campus Textbook Rentals but all opinions are totally my own. 



At the beginning of every semester, there's a collective sigh from college kids everywhere as the price tag of their textbook collection goes up and up and up. I worked at a textbook store back in January during the spring rush and I saw several price tags in the $700-$800 range.

Thankfully I got a pretty decent discount on all my textbooks.

But I don't work there anymore and that means no textbook discounts. And there's no way I'm spending $700 on textbooks if I can avoid it. 

Which is why I was excited to see that a textbook rental company wanted to work with me. What college kid doesn't want to save money on college books (40-90%)? And let's be real here, how many of us actually get around to selling textbooks to other students?

Great part about renting is that once the semester is done, you can ship it off (free shipping both ways anyone?) and never have to worry about that book again. It won't sit on your shelf collecting dust. Or if you're more like me, it won't sit on your floor and therefore you can't stub your toe on the corner as you stumble across your room at two in the morning going to the bathroom. 

The one thing that's always kept me from renting textbooks is the fact that I can't highlight in them. Whenever I wanted to make a note, I'd have to stop what I was doing and go find a sticky note. With these textbooks, you can highlight in them to your heart's content. 

They also have this great new program called Rent Back where you sell your book to them, but you get paid every time your book is rented out. Pretty awesome, eh? 

This video explains rent back in a pretty awesome way. 


And just a note from a former textbook store employee, what he says about textbooks being sold back at such ridiculous prices is true. Not the bookstore's fault!
Needless to say, I obviously need to start renting more!

Do you prefer to buy textbooks or rent them? And why?


6.6.13

Little Known Shenanigans

shirt: thrifted || jeans: target



1. I'm a speed demon on the road. But I can't stand being in the passenger seat with one. I've got trust issues.

2. I absolutely can not for the life of me stand silverware. The sound it makes hitting plates, hitting other silverware, someone scrapping it off their teeth. Silverware is the devil, I'm tellin' ya!

3. Every year I was in Girl Scouts, I was one of the best cookie sellers in my troop. I wouldn't take no for an answer!

4. When I was ten or eleven, I spent two weeks trying to convince everyone that I would now only answer to "Elizabeth" and "Laura" no longer existed (Elizabeth is my middle name).

5. In ninth grade, at the end of the year, we had a big re-ranking tournament, I ended up being the #1 girl on the JV team. And then I quit to go do theater (which I quit too).

6. Speaking of theater, my old music director at church used to write plays every year for the Christmas concert. One of them would end up being published and sold to other parishes. There was a character named "Laura" and I originated that roll.

7.  For years, people told me I needed to watch Dexter because I would be hooked. I finally started a few weeks ago because I found it on demand at home. I'm halfway through the second season, but I doubt I'll finish all 7 before the new season comes on.

8. I've tried every trick in the book to get organized. Planners, books, binders, to-do lists but I just can't do it. And it drives me nuts. I find it ten times more work to stick something in a to-do list and remember to cross it off than to just remember to do it.

9. On that note of to-do lists, I'm trying really hard to get into the habit of keeping a list of the "6 Most Important Things" every day. It's a Mary Kay idea (well the phrasing at least) and I love the idea, I just have to keep up with it! Praying I have the strength and the remembrance to keep it up.

10. When I was.... four? I sang at a dance recital. Chuck Norris was in the audience (I danced with his granddaughter) and here I am, still not famous!

5.6.13

Storm Warning


I don't really know where to start with this post, and I'm sure by the time I'm done writing it, I'll be bawling my eyes out, much to the discomfort of my co-workers.

So, I'll start with what I know to be fact.

I love my sister. She's one of my favorite people in the whole world.

I also know that I don't always let her know that. I know that we fight a lot lately and things have been tense.

She's 13 and we all know how hard it is to be a 13 year-old girl.

I just moved back home for the summer and that's hard too. I feel like there's no room in my family anymore. I know that me moving back home has been a huge adjustment for everyone in our family, especially Amy and I.

And I know that things have been tough for us, we're both going through such big changes in our lives.  (Just so you know, the tears are already sliding down my face. Can we say crybaby?!) We but heads like a bunch of mountain goats (they're the ones that but heads right?!)

But despite all of this, I still love her. Yes, we fight, yes we say horrible things to one another and we make each other cry a little too much.

Back in junior year, my dad was always traveling, to the point where it felt like he was never there. Not his fault, the guy had to make a living. But we all struggled at first. I became a carpool mom.

There would be nights I'd take Amy to dance, run to pick up my baby brother from basketball, and turn back around to pick Amy up before we would all go home.

Over the many hours we spent in the car, Amy and I had fun jamming out to country songs. The one song that really became our jam was "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes. To this day, that song is our song. Other girls will go on and on about how they love Hunter for "Wanted" or "Somebody's Heartbreak" and Amy and I will have no hesitation to loudly (and off-key) burst into "Storm Warning."

Do I miss those days? Yes, life was a lot simpler and fun back then. But life is about moving forward, not going back. I hope and I pray that through this rough patch that we're going through, I pray that Amy and I can come out of it stronger. I don't know when the hard times will end, when I graduate college? When she graduates high school?

I don't know. And neither does she.

But it amazes me just how sweet my sister really is.

Every Sunday morning, we listen to the country countdown. I like to listen to the American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks on one station and she likes to listen to the Country Top 40 with Bob Kingsley on the other country station.

Both shows have listener requests every weekend. And Amy submitted one and they played it on the radio.

This is what she wrote in her letter:

Hi Bob,
I’m 13 years old and I’m just finishing up 7th grade, and my sister is 19 and just finished her freshman year of college. If you were to ask me, things aren't going so well between us.
Not that long ago, when I was in fifth grade, everything was perfect between us. We rarely argued and I always enjoyed being with Laura. Our dad would go out of town a lot so she would have to help my mom drive me and my 2 brothers around town. We’d jam out to country music as we drove all around north Texas. But ever since she started dealing with everything she had to in order to go to college, things have gotten tense between us.
I wish I could go back to those days where everything was good and have my fun sister back. I know that won't happen, but if you could play "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes we might just have one of our old jam sessions that always brought a smile to my face.

Thank you so much,
Amy 

When he read that on the radio, I cried like a baby (hence the crybaby part). That dedication hands-down is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. And I'm so happy it was my baby sister that did it for me, I know that she's going to be an amazing woman one day.

So, Amy, through this long post, there's just a few things I want you to remember.

1. I know things are tough, but I want to work through it and I want you with me.

2. I love you so, so much.

3. And you're amazing.




4.6.13

Firmoo Free Glasses


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Firmoo.com with opinions of my own and of Firmoo's.  

Firmoo June Classic & Chic Models -Free for New Customers

So, I don't know about y'all, but I'm a college kid. My favorite word is "free" which is why I was supper excited to team up with Firmoo and tell y'all about their first pair free system. You've probably heard of it, whether you realize it or not! 

Every new customer gets a free pair of glasses (you do have to pay for shipping)! I just ordered my first pair last week and I'm so excited for them to come in (hint, the frames are partly purple!). Here are some of the most popular glasses that Firmoo sells. 

Oversize frame (Nerd Glasses):

What Firmoo Says:

Oversized glasses have won wide following and endorsement from celebrities due to their flamboyant and bold impression. The large frames and sleek lenses make that superstar vibe instantly as you put them on. If you want to have a new look, oversized frames definitely worth a try.

What Laura says:

These glasses are lovingly called "nerd glasses" in my house. When they first came out, the looked a whole lot like the big, thick frames that nerds would wear (not hating, I love the nerds!). Of course, they've become a trend and they look a whole lot cuter now, but I still call them nerd glasses! 
glasses
glasses

Rectangle frame:

What Firmoo says:

Rectangular glasses are the most common style you can see on the street. For a simple look, you can never go wrong with a pair of rectangular framed glasses. They are of traditional style, very charming. Sleek and slim rims outline a precise profile.

What Laura Says:


Every pair of glasses I've ever own have been rectangle. They're practical, they're cute (on most occasions!) and they look really good on me! I love rectangle frames just because they're simple and they work. 
glasses
glasses

Vintage style:

What Firmoo says:

We are always fond of wearing stylish and chic glasses but we often ignore one particular type-vintage glass. Sometimes it's just so cool to go back in time and have a feel of what fashion was wayback. They are also the perfect way to complete your vintage outfit.

What Laura says:

I haven't owned any vintage glasses, and I don't think I could pull of the look, but I really like these glasses. I love the round shape and the simplicity of these glasses. Sometimes glasses don't need to be the big focal point and these glasses fit the bill!
glasses
glasses

Nerdy style:

What Firmoo Says:


A medium sized, round eye frame shows a charmingly studious look. If you want that geeky or school girl type of look, then take a look at the below nerdy style, though simple, these are very stylish and classic too.

What Laura Says:

So, they call these the nerdy style, but I still call the other ones the nerd glasses. These ones wouldn't look very good on me, but I like the circular style. I'm not big on edges and corners and these glasses are very minimal on edges and corners. 
glasses
glasses
Still not sure that eyewear can be fashionable? Then check out how some of these fashionistas style them:







(The above model photos are all derived from Firmoo+.)
New Customers, check more products for your first free pair at Firmoo right now! You just need to pay shipping. First come, first served! (Simply clicking "LUCKY DRAW" on this page, you may even get a totally free pair including shipping free.)
About Firmoo
Firmoo is the World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars- 80%-90% lower compared to that in local store.

3.6.13

June Goals





MAY GOALS COMPLETED

(strikeouts are completed goals).


Do well on all my finals. 
Continue working out. When I go back home, I'll be up at 5 or 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym.
Formally launch my Mary Kay business (more on that soon!)
Grow Maple Bluebonnet.
Start 30 Facials for 30 Days (part of my Mary Kay business)
Pack up my whole entire room to move back home
Go through all my stuff and get rid of things that I don't need once I move back home
Finish this draft of The Assassin
Begin working on something different for once
New Blog design? 
Pray More



WORK IN PROGRESS

Continue working out. I've taken up swimming laps everyday.
Grow Maple Bluebonnet.
Finish The Assassin.
Go through all my things and clean them out.
Pray More.

JUNE GOALS

Expand my Mary Kay business.
Keep swimming laps every single day.
Finish my dang book!
Grow my blog (I've got some exciting business ventures!)
Sign up for my dang math class that I failed the first time around. 
Continue to build up my poor checking account again (college ain't cheap!)
Earn the money to go to Seminar for Mary Kay this year. 

What are your goals for this month? 

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