31.7.13

D A Y T W O | Mary Kay Seminar


Friday was a slow day, we had some classes in the morning, and for once, I got to sit in the arena! I was one of the last to sign up, so I had to sit in the extra ballroom, but the arena was so cool! I will be there next year! 





We had the seminar awards nights Friday night, so we all got all dolled up to go back to the convention center. I've also noticed that I have this weird thing of sticking my hip waaaay out there. I know, I'm a weirdo! 


Read past days: DAY ZERO | DAY ONE

30.7.13

D A Y O N E | Mary Kay Seminar


Day one of seminar was a load of fun! Well, minus waking up at 5:45 in the morning so we could leave by 6:30 and be there in time for breakfast at 7am.


This year's theme is One Woman Can. I love the thought that one woman can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to! I've got my mind set on a lot of things and I will not take no for an answer. This ONE WOMAN CAN do it all. And I WILL do it all! 


So, everyone knows about the pink Cadillacs, but did you know you can earn other cars before that? The first car you can earn as a Mary Kay consultant is the white Chevy Cruze. I've been eyeing this little sucker since I joined Mary Kay, but i never got to actually see one besides on the road. In the Expo, I was able to sit in it and check to see how many dead bodies could fit in it (book research, I swear!)! My goal is to have this car by December, but it's a lot of work and a lot of team building! 


Pink cadillac! (and that chevy Cruze in the background!) I will drive a pink Cadillac someday, but I don't think it'll be this one. 


I want the bigger one! When I sat inside it, I wanted to die. It is so nice! I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my car, Connor (yes, he's named after the book character from The Assassin), but he's seven years old, so he's got some wear and tear. These Cadillacs are brand spanking new, and you can get a new one every two years. 


 A new friend, Samantha, my sales director, Shelly, and I all in front of the pink Cadillac!

As far as Thursday went, hands down, my favorite part was enjoying the cars! I'm so excited to finally get my hands on one soon!

Read past days: DAY ZERO

29.7.13

D A Y Z E R O | Mary Kay Seminar


I am back!! Seminar was such a stinking blast! Seminar took place in downtown Dallas, at the Dallas Convention Center. It was so awesome seeing my town painted pink! And the best part is? There's three more seminars left so it'll be pink for another week and a half! Here's a few pictures from Day Zero. Don't ask me why it's called Day Zero, that's just what it is! 



On Day Zero, we went to the manufacturing plant down here in Dallas. In celebration of our fiftieth anniversary, the workers at the manufacturing plant did little stations with photobooths and such and we got to vote on our favorites. I love this picture because I gave my camera to a woman who was standing by, had to show her how to use it, and then ran to see there was no where for me to stand. So I got on the ground. These are a few of my wonderful Mary Kay sisters! 

Disco day! Here's another station, and sadly, I couldn't find a picture where all of us were looking at the same camera. 



Here's our picture after our awards. In Mary Kay, you have sales directors and national sales directors (NSD). Our NSD retired, so we don't have one, which puts us in the Go Give category. Go Give's awards were the first night, so we got all dressed up and fancy to go to the awards show. I'm the girl in the purple dress (if you couldn't already tell!).


This is my sales director, Shelley. She came into my life as a strong woman in a time where I really needed a strong woman who could show me that naysayers are not worth worrying about. I'll be so sad when I leave to go back to Huntsville (less than a month!). I know I'll probably see her every time that I come back to visit, but it just isn't the same! 


Day Zero was such a blast, but man was I exhausted. But don't worry, Days One, Two, and Three will be coming this week too!

24.7.13

Off to Seminar

18.7.13

A Logo I Actually Like -Insert Gasps-

For weeks, I've been going back and forth on names and logos and the general direction that I want to take myself and my brand. Do I want something classy? Something modern? Something girly? I spent weeks stressing out over what I wanted from my brand.

Well, instead of trying to pick one theme, I went with all three. And I think that fits me best. 


The two fonts I used for it were Thirsty Script (it's a combination of lobster, wisdom script and something else, LOVE IT!) and Oswald. The script gives it this classy look, but Oswald is such a fun, bold, modern font. And the purple, well, I love my purple! 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will change at some point, but I really love what I created here. and I HARDLY ever say that. 

Now that I actually have a logo I like, I can move forward with branding the rest of the website! -dances- It'll be up sometime before the end of the month.

Happy Thursday! 

17.7.13

Over Ambitious

Photo Credit: J. Noel Photography


Lately, I've had a lot of people surprised by how much I do. My internship, my blog, writing, Mary Kay, photography and singing (and don't forget school during the year!), it is a lot. I'm constantly going. I put almost 700 miles on my car every week. Pretty sure I'll add 10,000 by the end of the summer. 

For a long time, I just accepted it as what I do. I want to build myself a good career doing what I love. I want to be financially secure. As the oldest kid in my family, I've seen what can happen when you don't have savings (thankfully we did have savings). 

But should financial security really be an issue to a 19 year-old? My parents keep assuring me, "you're a college kid. You're supposed to be broke." With student debt going out the whazoo lately, it kills me a little inside every time I have to take another loan. 

I've always been independent, and it kills me knowing that someone else is out there paying for my college and that'll cost me later on in life. I want to be the one paying for it. Now. On my terms.

Sadly, that's not an option right now, but I'm hoping by senior year, it will be. 

It's also sad, that as a college kid, all I think about is money. How can I get money? How can I pay for this? How can I pay for that? how can I afford rent (first rent payment is August 1st)? It's all scary. And I know that that mindset will be constant the rest of my life.

All these things I do, I do them because I love them, but there's also the money factor behind it all. But, don't we all have a money factor behind what we do? Money drives the world.

I've got big plans for my life. Big plans that will mean big money. Not to spend it all (okay, maybe a lot of it), but because I need to know that if something bad happens, I'll still be okay. 

Call it ambition, call it being crazy, call it planning ahead.

It's all three. 

15.7.13

Rookie of the Year (Another Mary Kay Post)


Ignore the quality of that photo. I was exhausted, using my iPhone, and it was probably midnight when I took that. 

One of the things that I love about Mary Kay is the warm, kind, giving spirit of every woman I meet in Mary Kay. When I'm having a bad day, my Mary Kay sisters are there to lift my spirits and cheer me on to do some of my craziest dreams. They're pushing me to get my car by December (DECEMBER PEOPLE!!) They encourage me to keep on going when the rest of the world (and myself) thinks I've lost the steam to keep going.

I've been in Mary Kay for two and a half months (July 24th is my 3 month anniversary!) In two weeks (more like a week and a half), I signed two brand new team members. I earned my first prize in Mary Kay before I moved home for the summer, my pearls of sharing earrings. Earned the bracelet a few weeks ago. 

I've been #2 and #3 on orders the two months I've placed stuff. While I don't like to brag, y'all, that is freaking awesome! Even when I feel like I'm horrible at it, I look at all the things I've been rewarded in Mary Kay in just a few months (both materialistic and not). But last night was not something I was expecting.

It was the end of the seminar year awards. Having only been around for two and a half months, I wasn't expecting anything at all. Maybe a participation award (which I did get!), but that was it.

I didn't even know that someone could be Rookie of the Year, but I am the rookie of the year. In a world where you're expected to go to the top because it's your job, it sure is awfully nice to be rewarded for working my little tushie off, right? 

I've only been around for two and a half months and I'm the youngest girl in the unit, but it was pretty awesome to know that people were noticing me! 

This is just the beginning. This seminar year will be my first full year in Mary Kay and I'm so excited for everything that I'm going to accomplish in Mary Kay. Sure, some people may think it's weird or strange, but Mary Kay has brought so many blessings into my life, especially when I've needed them the most.

For me, this award isn't that I'm the best (because I'm not - not by a long shot), but I guess, a sign from God that I actually managed to do something right for once!!

Happy Monday everyone! 

12.7.13

Identity Crisis




Lately, I've been having a bit of an identity crisis. It's been ongoing for a few months. I'm pretty positive it's what led to some of the greatest decisions of my life: joining Mary Kay, deciding to self-publish The Assassin, shut down MBB and start Ginger Snaps (I'll have that website done someday!).

Crisis has always been a word that's carried a negative connotation. But in the past few months, I've realized, a crisis can be good. I've really had to reevaluate what I want out of life. For a long time, I thought I could hold a normal job and then do my creative stuff on the side - like writing and photography.

This summer has been a brutal awakening. A normal office job is not for me. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot and I love it here, but the idea of doing it for the rest of my life is not something I want to do.

But that's not the point of this post. 

Out of this identity crisis, I've realized something. I really like my name. As a kid, I hated it. Downright hated it. Laura Elizabeth? I hated it. No idea why.

But as I "suffer" this identity crisis, a few weeks ago, someone asked me what my middle name was and I told her "Elizabeth." She told me she thought it was super pretty.

She was right.

It's classic, simple, but pretty. 

It's my name and I'm finally owning up to it. While other things in my life may change, my name will not. It's almost a rock of sorts. 

Which is part of the reason I'm going to rename the blog to "Laura Elizabeth".

The change won't be immediate. It'll be a few weeks before I change it. Maybe the beginning of the August, but that does mean all my social media handles will change.

Again. 

in fact, I've already got a new facebook page up for the change (stupid facebook won't let you change the page URL after a certain amount of times). Want to resupport a girl? I'd love you forever! 

Twitter will be @lauraelizabethtx 
I suspect instagram will be the same. And Pinterest. I'll know more details later. 

And I'll get a new home on the web. More details on that later too :)

When I first came up with the idea of changing the name, I pitched the idea of changing it a few weeks ago to a group of bloggers who's values I opinion. One mentioned the blog "Lauren Elizabeth" and honestly, I was kind of crushed.

Then I realized, it didn't matter. She was Lauren, I'm Laura. This is my name. 

I've spent a long time trying to be someone I'm not. 

That's going to change. It's time to embrace who I really am - name and all. 

Y'all, I'm way too freaking excited about this! 

10.7.13

Advice for Newbie Photographers


I still consider myself a newbie; I still have a bunch to learn about Suzanne and photography, but lately, I've been reading a lot about shooting in manual. I thought I would share some of my favorite articles on the internet about starting out in photography. 

+Jenni from Story of My Life wrote this wonderful post about starting out. I had the opportunity to work with her a few weeks ago and she is absolutely phenomenal at photography! 

+Where should you print your photos? Ava from Zemya Photography compares the most popular photo printing places. 

+20 Tips About Shooting in Manual is one I just found while writing this post and I'm loving everything about it! 

+Amanda from Kevin and Amanda always has such fabulous photos! They're all so clean and crisp and clear and just straight out gorgeous! This is a quick guide to learning about your DSLR camera. 

+Digital Camera World has a great article about focusing your lens in manual. I struggle with this a lot, I just can't seem to get it all to focus.

What great articles have you found that help you with your photography? 

9.7.13

The Writing Journey


I worked in the publishing industry for a few months and boy, did I learn a lot in those few months. One of the biggest things I learned was that you need a strong web presence, including a website. A few months ago, I had a website on wordpress.com but I hated the templates and the lack of creative control. 

So, I forgot about it. 

My intention was to always get back to blogger and build an author website on that platform. Blogger is just a language I understand and know like the back of my hand.

I just didn't anticipate it to take me two months into summer to get there. But now it's done. There isn't much, but it's just a start. 

The site will be a way to document my life as I work out this self-publishing. Don't worry, I'll still be here, but it'll be nice to have a website specifically for my writing. 

To visit the website, click here! I'm so excited to finally show it off! 

8.7.13

Seminar Party

Last Monday was my Mary Kay unit's Seminar year kick off party! Thankfully, I was able to grab a few photos. One of the girls is moving this week (she might have already left) so the party was a going away party/beginning of the year party.

Here are a few!



Happy Monday!

3.7.13

Happiness is a State of Mind


A few weeks ago, I was reading an interview and while I can't remember who on earth the interview was about, I remember reading a quote that really stuck with me: "Happiness is a state of mind." I've secretly carried that quote in my back pocket since then, dwelling on it, agreeing with it, thinking whoever said it was absolute idiot and so many other things.

I've suffered from depression for years, and while I've mentioned it briefly here, I've never really said it out in the open. Yes, I've suffered from depression, but whenever I tell people they always seem surprised, and I've realized that this quote is exactly why. 

Yes, I've suffered from depression, but I try not to make it the defining point of my life. Depression has made me appreciate the little things more. It's given me ambition to go and chase these crazy dreams. I'm fighting it head on, and having a happy state of mind is such an important part of that fight.

Now, don't get me wrong - I still have my moments where I'm ready to give up and completely shut out the rest of the world. I feel pathetic, used, broken, unloved. Those moments are still there - a lot. But if it weren't for my personal emphasis on trying to be happy all the time, they'd be a hell of a lot more frequent.

Part of life is the downs, but it's how you deal with the downs and stay happy that make the ups worthwhile. 

2.7.13

July Goals


COMPLETED 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. 



JULY GOALS

Grow Ginger Snaps Photography
Be on target for my car by the end of July (yay Mary Kay!)
Earn my Red Jacket (Only need two more team members!)
Actually win Camp NaNoWriMo this year.
Figure out what I can reuse from the dorm last year and what I need to replace (new bed sheets)
SEMINAR!
Start saving some money.

Oh, and happy birthday to my sweet, sweet Mama! She's only halfway to being old! ;) 

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