Miss Independent: What I Wore on The Fourth of July

IMG_3206Shout-out to my girl Kelly Clarkson for this blog post title. Here’s a brief, and very very delayed, look at what I wore during my Fourth of July festivities. I love to keep things festive and dress in my very best red white and blue. I adore the United States shaped necklace I wore. At school I’m an American studies major and I wear this necklace when I have tests or papers due for good luck.

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Dress: Gap Shoes: Brooks Brothers Sweater: Juicy Couture Necklace: LF Bow: Bought from a local crafter

Check out what I wore for The Fourth of July last year!

St. Pat’s

StPatsI decided to skip the inspiration this Monday and instead celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! As I’m sure is clear by now, I love holidays and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception! My Irish family has some cute traditions for today, and while I’ll still be wearing my very best green dress, I will sadly be missing out on the family stuff since I’m at school. My mother always makes us some kind of green inspired breakfast and then for dinner we have corned beef (well, tofu for me) and cabbage with soda bread. I took the easy way out this morning and ate some Lucky Charms for breakfast (hey it has a leprechaun on the box, it’s totally authentic). I’ll definitely be looking forward to eating some leftover soda bread when I get home for spring break tomorrow! How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

The Bow Ho’s Happily-Lonely Hearts Club Band

This is merely a testament to finding yourself, through the eyes of the unattached. I don’t normally share a lot of intimate personal details on here, because it’s not that kind of blog. However, I feel that this is one of the rare occasions where what I have to say actually has merit, and in order for it to be fully appreciated a little history is needed.

In the past year, I ended my first long-term relationship. There it is, the catalyst to all of my poor romantic decisions from the last six months. I had been with this boy since I was 16 and he had played a huge part in some of the more impressionable years of my life. We had a sweet love, but it was also very young. After high school, we decided to go to college 3,000 miles away from each other and try a long distance relationship. Although we made it work for two years, we eventually decided the distance was just too much.

The end of this three yearlong relationship was messy to say the least. The boy quickly reattached himself to another girl at his college in the Midwest, a rebound that stung a lot more than I thought possible. Despite the boy’s newly attached status, we kept in close contact. When Thanksgiving break rolled around, and the boy and I found ourselves back in our hometown, things took a turn for the complicated. We fell back into the same patterns with each other. We were constantly spending time together; going on hikes, taking scenic drives and verbalizing the old feelings that were oh-so-easily coming back. Investing time and emotion in someone who was also attached to someone else wasn’t smart. It took me way longer than it should have to realize that I was getting burned and that I needed to walk away from this boy again. That’s the thing about first loves, you give with your whole heart to them and I think that makes it even harder to realize when things are finally over. There’s a huge part of your heart that continues to hope that somehow, this time, things will work out. But what it’s hard to know at 20 is that life is not a fairytale. Sometimes you need to pick up your glass slipper for yourself and stop waiting for Prince Charming to leave the ugly stepsister.

After Thanksgiving, I tried dating… to a disastrous effect. I am apparently some sort of jerk magnet, because I quickly found myself attached to the worst guy in my student government (the activity that easily takes up the most amount of my time besides school, my editing internship or sleep). After a confusing couple of months with this guy, we decided to end our… I was about to say it was a relationship, but I don’t think it quite qualifies as that, maybe flirtation? Or involvement? Anyways, the point is things came to an end.

So here I am, on February 14th, finding myself happily unattached on Valentine’s Day. Most days, I feel like my life is still unwritten. I’m a 20-year-old girl working on a liberal arts degree and I really don’t have many clear goals for my future after school. I haven’t found myself, but I’m more than okay with that. I’m happy to have this respite from romantic involvement and to be able to focus on me. I am not bitter about other people being in relationships, nor am I championing being a confirmed bachelorette and opting to be the new Carrie Bradshaw pre-2008. I am just being me and figuring out what that means. It’s incredibly relieving to learn to be on your own and to be finding yourself independently, without the crutch of someone else.

I think it’s a gift to be given a break. In the six months that I haven’t officially been someone’s girlfriend, I’ve grown an immense amount. I’m more than just six months older. So much of our culture is pushing relationships, pushing you to be in one or pushing you to be upset that you’re not in one. And I think that’s a huge disservice. It’s liberating to be 20 and independent, it’s not something you should be crying about.

So this Valentine’s Day, I won’t be on a date with my future husband, same as I won’t be watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, crying and eating ice cream from the container (although, my mother did send me a giant heart-shaped box of See’s candy that I might not be able to resist). Instead, I’ll be giving thanks. I’ll give thanks that I’ve known what it feels like to be in love and to be loved in return, even if the result left me a little brokenhearted.  I’ll be giving thanks that I’ve seen from my parents how to have a long and happy marriage, and I’ll be giving thanks to have this time to independently find myself. Most of all, I’ll be giving thanks for the moment I’m in right now and for the path that I’m on. I don’t know where it’s going, but I’m loving every moment of figuring it out.

Saint Valentine’s

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Winter is undoubtedly my least favorite season. My wardrobe feels very boring and the only colors I wear tend to be dark jewel tones. The typical plethora of local fruits and vegetables (come on, this is California after all) dwindles and includes far too many vegetables of the squash variety. The weather is rainy and it makes my hair frizz. As far as school goes, I find the winter term to be impossibly boring. It lacks the excitement of the new school year that the fall term brings and it doesn’t have the thrill of the close proximity of summer that spring has. Despite all of the dreariness, there is one thing about winter that I absolutely love—all of the holidays! There are few things that I enjoy more than the excuse to be festive! This sweater is definitely a must-have for the whole month of February. I decided to go ultra-girlie and pair it with a dress and sweet accessories. To see one of my past posts about Valentine’s Day outfit options click here.

076 116 107 103 098079Sweater: J. Crew Factory Dress: Anthropologie Shoes: London Sole Bracelet: Francesca’s

An big thank you to me amazing friend Connie who helped me out with these photos. To see her other work on the blog click here!

Monday Spirations

December30My last inspiration for the year! 2013 has brought a lot of changes into my life and taken me to some places I had never expected. Heading into 2014, I feel that so much of the future is unwritten and I’m excited to see how everything will unfold in the coming year. I’m going to post about my goals for the coming year in a later post, so I won’t write too much on the subject now. The new year makes me feel so refreshed. I know it is super cliche, but I feel like I have a blank page to write my story on, and I’m more energized than ever to put pen to paper.

Have a wonderful and happy New Years!

What I Wore Christmas Eve

IMG_2187Every year my family and I throw a large party Christmas Eve. The event is always loads of fun and enjoyed by all, it’s the perfect build up to Christmas Morning! I love picking out my dress for the event. When I saw this dress online at Anthropologie, I knew I had to have it. I was constantly showing my friends the dress and neurotically checking to see if it was still in stock. Finally when I came home for break, I sat down and ordered the dress. The sparkles make it a terrific party dress and the lace brings some elegance. I loved wearing it and will probably be recycling it for another event soon!

IMG_2194 IMG_2208 IMG_2234 IMG_2239IMG_2237To check out other “What I Wore” posts click here!

Wishing you and your families an excellent new year!

What I Wore Thanksgiving

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Hello Everyone! I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings and are continuing to enjoy the holiday by relaxing today or taking advantage of the Black Friday sales! I just wanted to do a quick blog post to share with you what I wore to my Thanksgiving festivities yesterday. I bought this dress back in September from Anthropologie and saved it all season to wear for Thanksgiving. I love dresses with delicate lace detailing (To see me wearing a similar style, click here) because they are so feminine. The color was also perfect for Thanksgiving. My love affair with this dress is definitely not ending with Turkey Day, I want to wear it whenever possible for the rest of the season!

What did you wear to Thanksgiving?IMG_1894 IMG_1899 IMG_1900Dress: Anthropologie (Now on sale!) Sweater: J. Crew Factory Shoes: Coach (Last seen here) Earrings: Tiffany & Co. (Last seen here) Necklace and bracelet: Gifts from my Grandma

To see my other holiday outfit posts click here

What I Wore July Fourth

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In case you haven’t yet gathered this from my blog, I love any reason to celebrate and be festive! The Fourth of July is no exception! You can always catch me in fully red, white and blue ensemble celebrating my country’s independence at a parade or watching fireworks! For this Fourth of July, I really put attention on my fun pleated skirt and tried to keep the rest of my outfit a little more neutral. Of course I complimented the outfit with some red, white and blue accessories! What did you wear this past Independence Day?

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4-2 photo 4Top: Lilly Pulitzer (Last seen here), Skirt: Boutique in Canada (Similar) Shoes: Brooks Brothers (Similar) Sunglasses: Chanel (Last seen here), Earrings: Lou Lou (Similar), Bracelet: Kiel James Patrick for Brooks Brothers

XOXO

Lauren