Friday, May 31, 2013

may photos

red seas

"red seas"

need to find some sunshine

"need to find some sunshine"

before the morning TORNADO RELIEF PRINT

"before the morning"

the ebb and flow to multiply

"the ebb and flow to multiply"

These are all the photos I've posted online for the month of May. (You can click on each photo to view it on flickr.) I haven't done as much in actual shooting this month, but I'm really proud of each photo. Slowly but surely I'm learning about quality over quantity.

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I also edited these photos taken by Cierra and Katja, respectively. (The one on the left is theirs, the one on the right is my edit.) I'm part of a group on facebook where people post pictures for others to edit, which is a really fun idea and a great time waster.

Right now I'm trying to find a good direction to go with my personal work. Thinking of maybe starting a series, but nothing concrete has flourished just yet. Who knows? Maybe I won't make any photos this month, maybe I'll make twenty. I'm pleased with where I am right now.

january/february // march // april

Thursday, May 30, 2013

blogger of the month: jessi of haircut and general attitude

Introducing May's blogger of the month! I just recently discovered Jessi's blog, and already she's one of my favorites. I love her girly, colorful sense of style and how well she plays with patterns and color combinations. If you don't already follow her blog, I suggest you go check it out. Prepare to be inspired!

Well first things first, can you tell me just a little bit about yourself?

I could open by saying I'm a gemini vegetarian, which happens to be a Legally Blonde reference, yes, but also true! Haha but really I'm just a fun-loving, fashion-craving twenty-something who prides herself on her expansive collection of shoes. I love spending every spare minute with my darling Hubby and finding adventure in every day. Some other favorites include depressing music, sunshine, crafting, vintage and anything to do with foxes.

How would you describe your personal style?

Hmmm.... this is always a hard question because I find influence in so many different styles. The words vintage, girly and romantic come to mind with a mix of mod and a tinge of quirkiness! I love anything with velvet, collars, bows, and fun details and I love to play with colors and mix patterns. My biggest style role models are Audrey Hepburn and Zooey Deschanel.

Is there any style you would want to try or wish you could pull off?

I wish I could pull of the edgy, rocker vibe. Not all the time, but just a little bit here and there. I've seen some really amazing edgy looks on other bloggers but when I try to look badass I feel silly. It just clashes with my super girly style and personality.

What is one meal you could never get tired of eating?

Indian food! I love me some curry, naan and saag paneer. I could probably eat it every single day. And they have great veggie options!

Where would be one place in the world you would love to visit and why?

This is probably the hardest question ever.... I want to visit so many places! I have a passion for traveling and exploring new places. I love warm weather and spending all day at the beach... right now I want to say Australia! I was watching a discovery channel show the other day (yep..) and I discovered that both wombats and surprisingly tazmanian devils are insanely adorable! Seriously. Go look up pictures now!

When it comes to personal style, how has your style evolved over the years?

Well I've definitely developed a strong love for the world of fashion and beauty! Growing up I was never one to take risks with my clothing and my style was more laid-back and casual. I was always big into makeup but it's only in the last 5 years or so that I've found my passion for expressing myself in the way I dress and looking at each outfit like a work of art. I went through a bit of a bohemian/indie stage before I settled into my current flirty, retro vibe. And who knows what I'll like in the future! One of the best things about personal style is that it's always evolving!

What do you hope people get the most out of your blog?

I hope they find inspiration, friendship and a laugh or two! I hope my blog reflects my belief that beauty comes from being yourself. You can rock anything you want to, there's no rules in fashion because fashion is an expression of individuality.

Thank you so much Jessi for letting me interview you! It's been a pleasure getting to know you and reading your blog, and I can't wait to see what new adventures you go on!

Be sure to read Jessi's personal style blog, Haircut and General Attitude.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

our only plan is to improvise

skirt: thrifted // dress: forever 21 // cardigan: gift // shoes: target

I wore this outfit once at college and loved it, but never got a chance to photograph it. Of course for any blogger, that is a blessing in disguise because then we get to wear the same outfit again. So when I found myself not quite knowing what to wear, I decided to don the same combination of clothes and avoid any unnecessary brain functions early in the morning. Well the second time around I succeeded in taking outfit photos, but I no longer feel the same way about this outfit. I've been looking back on my outfits this past month, trying to pinpoint the shift in my style. I suppose it's been a long time coming though, considering I'm always evolving and changing and consequently my clothes are bound to follow me. It's frustrating though. I feel like I can't express myself through my clothes, so I shop online and pretend I have money, and then I feel bad for feeling sorry for myself. Part of me says, "Who even needs clothes anyways? I certainly don't. There are so many better things I could spend my money on. I have enough clothes." Part of me says, "But I need to be able to express myself and feel confident. I need to have my wardrobe reflect me." And then of course there's the part of me that inevitably chooses the most expensive thing when I shop and have to constantly be disappointed. Curse my expensive taste and modest budget!

But anyways, today (Tuesday) Matt and I finally started P90X, and man, I forgot how hard it was. I did it with my mom in 2010 and loved it, so I'm excited to do it again and push myself harder. It's also fun to do it with Matt because he makes me want to do my best. It's always more fun to work out with a friend anyways. I don't think I would work as hard if I was just doing it by myself.

p.s. I finally got the chance to listen to the new Daft Punk album. Ooooh man it's awesome. You must listen to it.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


hat: forever 21 // shirt: mom's closet // skirt: gift // shoes: thrifted // glasses: firmoo

Happy belated Memorial Day everyone! I'm finally back from camping and I have a ton of pictures to share with you, the first of which being these outfit photos. No, I didn't actually wear this all day camping, but I figured the background would be a nice change of scenery from outfit photos in my front yard. Plus I finally got my firmoo glasses in the mail and couldn't wait until I was back home to take pictures of them. They are super fun and I want to wear them all the time. Of course everyone at home is giving me grief because I don't actually need glasses, but I won't let that stop me (at least not yet). I love the fact that something like glasses can be seen as a fashion accessory nowadays. When I was little it was always lame to have to wear glasses, and now it's cool. Next thing you know, people will be wearing braces as a fashion statement ...

These pictures were taken on the second day, so just ignore my camp hair, haha. My brothers went with me to chase the sunlight for these pictures, so you'll see one of them make an appearance down below. That one is Nicholas. William on the other hand actually stayed still for some more creative photos. Currently I'm sorting through the creative vs. documentation photos of the weekend, which I'll hopefully have all posted by the end of the week. :)

As for the events of today, Matt finally came home from college today! It was the most perfect day ever, to say the least. From hanging out with him, to eating dinner with my family, to frolfing and croqueting, not to mention the perfect weather (despite all the mosquito bites I have regardless of soaking myself in bug spray), it was such an amazing day. Summer has officially begun.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

here to stay

sweater: walmart (?) dress/tights: forever 21 // shirt: thrifted // belt/shoes: target

Some pieces of clothing last a lifetime. This sweater is one of them. I have had it since eighth grade (oh look at how much I've grown) and I have no doubt that I'll still have it when I'm eighty. When my mom first bought it for me, I thought it was the coolest sweater ever. Despite my first thought that it was really old ladyish, I liked the green color (my favorite) and the cool design on the sleeves. It was one of the first "fashionable" pieces I had ever owned, if you can call it that. I always would wear it with my favorite red tank top from Eddie Bauer, another thing that I thought was old ladyish, and I would always throw it on top of my t-shirts. (Man, I look so little there! And look at that great selective coloring and rounded edges. Oh man, those were the good old days.) There was a period of time when I hated this sweater as well, because I tend to not like things that just hang from my shoulders, but I'm trying to get out of that habit and wear things based on color and pattern more than structure (though that is important as well). But anyways, this sweater has been with me a lot and it's still one of my favorites. It will be for a long time.

Well if you're reading this, then I am currently camping somewhere in the wild jungles of Alaska, trying not to get attacked by bears or die of frostbite. But seriously, I'm excited to go camping. In light of the Moore tornado, it will be nice to get away from technology and just forget about things for a bit. My facebook/tumblr/instagram have been filled with tornado related news, people asking for help, posting photos and videos; and not being able to help efforts is pretty disheartening. But thankfully our house and our renters are okay. We were finally able to get in contact with them and the tornado missed our house by three blocks. It shrunk in size literally right before it hit and bypassed the structure, save for typical debris damage. The park by our house was totally destroyed though. It's so weird and crazy how one thing is spared and the thing right next to it is gone. But it makes me proud to have Moore on the list of places I've lived, because even in the face of destruction, people come together and find the good in everything.

But really, I think that's true for most humans. When natural disasters strike, it always brings me to tears because of the good in humans. Total strangers come to each other to help. It's a really beautiful thing. Not only does it make me proud to be an Oklahoman, or an Alaskan, or an Oregonian (or wherever I'm living), or an American, but it makes me proud to be a human, to be a part of a universal community of people who, despite our differences, are really not all that different. Rock on, humans.

:) Have a great day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

film friday: freshman year semester two

Freshman Year Semester Two from Lauren Parker on Vimeo.

It's a very special film friday today, because I'm sharing a video that I made! This video features some of the adventures I had during my second half of freshman year, featuring some awesome things like our spy obstacle course and a picnic! I can't believe my first year of college is already over with. Time sure flies by.

You can see the first semester here!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

diy polka dot nails

Today I'm bringing you guys a really simple nail tutorial! People ask me all the time how I do my polka dot nails, and really it's quite simple. I went through a phase of my life where I painted my nails all the time, and then one day I switched my lifestyle and didn't do my nails, didn't wear makeup, and didn't use any products on my skin or hair (except for shampoo and sculpting cream, since this was when I had short hair), and then just as quickly as I stopped using products, I started using them again. Now though, I'm pretty minimal when it comes to things, and still try to maintain a level of naturalness, I guess you could say. Painting my nails is one of those things that I'm glad I'm doing again. Firstly, it's really therapeutic. I love painting, and being able to paint right on myself, however weird that sounds, is a pretty cool thing. It's also a fun way to express myself and add extra color. So now I shall reveal the deep secrets of polka dot nails.

Step one: trim

Pictured is nail polish that is starting to chip. That's the sign that I probably should repaint. I paint my nails about once a week, as I'm always doing things with my hands and the paint chips off pretty quickly. First I trim my nails. This step is dependent upon how long my nails are. I hate having long fingernails and like to keep them as short as possible. Plus with short nails you get less dirt and junk underneath the tips.

Step two: remove

Then I use a cotton ball and remove all the nail polish from my nails. After I'm dong removing the polish, I was my hands with soap and water and sometimes put lotion on my hands.

Next I pick out my polish. This is my entire collection of colors minus a few bottles. Eventually I would love to add more shades and end up with a huge selection like Kaylah, but for now I am pleased with how much it's grown over the years.

Step three: clear coat

Before I paint any actual color on, I paint a clear coat. That way my nails don't get stained with whatever color I put on them. Especially during the summer, I like doing cut out designs where you can see parts of the nail, and having nasty orange nails is never a good thing. Currently I'm actually out of clear coat, so for this tutorial I used a translucent shade of silver/gray.

Step four: base colors

I like to alternate my colors on my fingers. Generally on my right hand I paint my index finger and my pinky, and on my left hand I paint my ring finger. The very first time I ever alternated colors, I painted my middle finger, and only realized later the implications. Whoopsies!

Step five: polka dots

Now on to the polka dots! Instead of using the side of your brush like you generally use to apply the base coat, you use the flat rounded bottom of your brush to make the polka dots. I try to leave a tiny bit of excess polish on the tip of the brush so the circles are nice and opaque. Just don't rush through it. These things take a steady hand.

After I painted the initial polka dots on, I went back and added smaller ones on top. You can do this several ways. I was extra careful and just used the brush of my polish, leaving less excess polish on and angling it slightly so that the entire bottom didn't touch the nail. You can also use a toothpick by using your brush to create a palette on your hand or a piece of paper to dip your toothpick in. Also, you can use a colored sharpie to create smaller circles. Just make sure with the sharpie that the polish is completely dry.

Once your nails are dry, simply add a top coat (if you used sharpie, you should note that running a top coat brush over it several times will cause it to start running), and you're done! Now you have really fun polka dot nails that everyone will be jealous of!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them! And I would love to see your results of this tutorial. You can post a picture in the comments or email a link to a post.

I hope that you enjoyed this diy and that you have a great day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

tooty frooty

dress/belt/skirt: thrifted // tights: forever 21 // heels: target

I bought this skirt a while ago in an effort to add more basics to my wardrobe (don't know how I figured a bright purple velvet pencil skirt was a basic, but whatevs), and haven't yet worn it on the blog yet! (At least, not that I can remember.) Who woulda thunk it was hard to style it, am I right or am I right? But since I have less than half of my (already fairly small) closet home for the summer, I'm sure you'll be seeing this skirt a lot. I think part of the reason I've been having trouble with it is because I tend to shy away from pencil skirts. I much rather prefer ones that flare away, such as this one, but since looking at these pictures, I'm starting to like it a bit more and am already thinking up other ways to style it.

Well the snow's all gone! No matter how hard I try not to talk about the weather, I swear it's in my blood. And I'm so happy the snow is gone! The moose are out, the sun is shining, and the world is once more at peace. You think I'm kidding when I say I'm excited about this warm weather, but I was jumping up and down and soaking the fresh air in. Aaaah Alaskan summer is marvelous.

I just got back from frolfing with friends and general hanging out, and if this is what the rest of the summer is going to be like, then sign me up. It's weird because in high school I felt like I had hardly any friends, but now that I'm done and actually hanging out with people because I want to and because they want to, I don't feel like I'm forced to socialize. I don't feel like I have to try to make a good impression to get people to like me, like I used to feel when going to a new school. I've been thinking a lot about when I first moved to Alaska, and the last thing I want is for this summer to be like the first summer I was here. This summer, I don't feel forced to try to make friends, and now it's just an effort of making the friendships that I do have here stronger. College has a lot to do with feeling comfortable, I am sure. It's helped me know who I am and who I want to be, and it's helped me not be so self conscious all the time and to just have fun and not be so down about not hanging out with people all the time, and to cherish the times I am around people that I care about. I know I've emailed some of you guys about this, and am planning on doing a more in depth post about confidence, but for now I'll just say that I am really thankful for all my friends and I'm thankful I don't have to try to impress them.

Really, today was an awesome day.

I hope you have a marvelous day!