Friday, July 3, 2015

Green Thumb.

Trapeze Dress: c/o OASAP.
Tassel Loafers: c/o Pink and Pepper.
Green Hat: Thrifted.
'Kissle-toe" Necklace: Freebie Table at Cosmo.
Lipstick in MAC's 'Myth.'

Hello there!

Today was a much needed 'me' day that I spent exploring around the city. This morning I was heading to try out Think Coffee and then stumbled upon the Donut Pub on my way! And I can never say no to a chance at a donut.  It was such an adorable little diner with every freshly baked donut imaginable. I was greedy and couldn't decide on just I got two! I chose a cream filled chocolate and a sugar coated jelly filled one. Both magnificent! 

After my donut detour I finally made it to Think Coffee which I've seen a few times and kept telling myself I had to visit. I went to the one down by NYU and it was bustling with patrons and I could smell the coffee even before I stepped in the door. I got an iced to stay and just chilled out awhile working on my laptop before heading back to my dorm to grab my tripod to take these photos!

A few weeks back in Central Park I stumbled upon the most adorable little toy sailboat pond and wanted to go back there to take photos today. I ended up getting super lost though in Central Park, ha. I mean, like really lost. It was so remote I felt like I was back in Ohio almost at the place where I take all my photos. It was maybe just what I needed though to be immersed in all the trees with the sound of water running to clear my mind. I'm usually in such a rush to take my outfit photos, but I got to just take my time and experiment around with different angles and shots which was peaceful. I just receive this unexplainable joy from snapping outfit photos. I always have during the last five years and I pray it never stops!

I also took some time after I got un-lost to write in my journal where I found the perfect Central Park spot. It was right by the lake where everyone rents row boats and it gives the perfect view of the city buildings behind it. It was a seriously gorgeous day and exactly what I needed. x

With much love, Lauren.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Let's Have an Adventure.

Eyelet dress: Aeropostale.
Black Brim hat: c/o OASAP.
Oxfords: Sam & Libby via Plato's Closet.
Necklace: c/o Sparkle Box.

Hello there!

I'm so happy that I have the next few days off for the fourth of July! Today was my first off for the long weekend and it was lovely. I was able to take some blog photos in Central Park which was so relaxing. It always surprises me how strange people think it is though. I mean, I understand when I was in Ohio it wasn't casual to see a girl taking photos of herself with a tripod, but I thought it would be much more accepted in NYC. People still think it's so strange though and will often blatantly stop and watch what I'm doing and even take photos of me sometimes? Ha,I don't know. Maybe it's because I've been doing this for five and a half years it's not weird to me, but I guess it would be pretty abnormal for others to see!  

Hopefully I get to check some things off my 'to see' list during this long holiday weekend. Still wanting to hit the beach again, go to Coney Island, and visit the Freedom tower. I can't believe I only have around six weeks left in NYC. That makes me so sad! I am looking forward to being with my family again though and spending the last few weeks in my hometown before going back to Kent for my senior year. It's going to be a whirlwind next few months! x

With much love, Lauren.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Eyes Found Yours.

Dress, Sandals: Aeropostale.
Lipstick in NYX Matte Lipcream 'Prague'

Hello everyone!

It's somewhat personal and I didn't think I wanted to talk about it, but it was just such a cool experience I want to share with you might be somewhat controversial and if you don't believe the same things I do than that's perfectly acceptable. I'm not saying you should! But please respect me and my religious views and have an open mind if you do continue to read on.

So this past week I felt the holy spirit move within me for the first time. It was a very interesting and strange occurrence. In my walk with Christ and my spiritual understanding I have never quite grasped the concept of the holy spirit. I know that it is one with Christ and God the same, and that it is there to be in us for strength. It was something I could never really wrap my mind around though and to be honest, I felt the job of the holy spirit to be somewhat...pointless? (I know it's not). But I had never felt it nor really had any spiritual connection to this third part of the trinity, and so throughout my life I've just not looked into its reality.

This past week I was feeling sort of down for various reasons. I think sometimes I can get in my own head and nothing is really wrong, but through over thinking and my sensitive nature I create things. Anyways, Friday morning I woke up just feeling heavy and burdened but started to get ready for work. I decided to play some music while I was getting ready and put on Prince of Peace: a new song from Hillsong United, the church I've been going to. It's a beautiful song and one I instantly connected to when they played it for the first time a few weeks ago at service. Maybe after it had played once through for some reason my dull mood dissipated and it was replaced with this amazing elation. Almost like the best thing in the world had just happened to me. It came out of nowhere; to go from feeling so meh to feeling 110% energetic and full of abounding happiness. 

I left the apartment just buzzing. That's the word I can use to describe the inward feeling. This buzzing going throughout my whole body and this feeling I felt like I couldn't contain. I was just bursting with happiness and needed to share it with anyone, everyone, because I wanted them to feel what I felt. I smiled like a mad woman for no particular reason on the streets as I walked to the subway and just couldn't stop. I felt like a brilliant light that couldn't be put out. 

I went down to the subway and was unsure whether to take the slower train or the faster and for some reason, was pulled to take the slower. When I got in and looked as the doors closed, I saw that someone had written "Jesus is the way" on a door and I smiled knowing that God was with me that morning.

When I got off the subway the feeling didn't stop but was amplified. I have never felt such an intense, overwhelming need to help people than I did in that moment. I saw a woman walking down the street who was hunched over and wore very dirty socks with no shoes. I walked past her but I was so bothered by what I saw I stopped. I literally walked back and forth, not knowing what to do for her, but yet pulled by this invisible force to help her. I felt like I couldn't leave without talking to her. I just couldn't. So I went up to her and asked if she was hungry or needed anything and she said no. I continued walking along and it wasn't far until I came across a homeless man who was on the ground and his sign said, "homeless and hungry." I knew I had to help him.

The sad fact of NYC is that there are many homeless people. Far, far too many. I see them everywhere I go and it breaks my heart. I look at their pained eyes, dirty feet, and few belongings and ache inside for them. I see the boxes they sleep in and I think about how I take advantage of my own comfortable, warm bed I get to sleep in at night when they sleep inside a box on the cold, wet, dirty streets of NYC. Although my heart aches for them when I pass and I always say a prayer I am ashamed that I never do anything for them. I am always in too big of a rush. I have no money on me. I don't know what to do for them. All of these excuses and it makes me ashamed. 

But this man I could not let go like all of the others I had past. I knew I would be late to work but again, the spirit was just so powerful within me that I stopped to help him. He sat outside a deli and I went in and bought him a sandwich and water. It wasn't much. But it was all I could give him at the time. I gave it to him and his eyes had a little more light than before. I told him to have a good day and that I'd be praying for him...and he told me, "God bless."

I felt the spirit within me for a little while after but soon after I got to work things fizzled out. But I could not shake the feeling of this memory of what I experienced that morning. It is truly unlike anything I've ever felt and know it was the work of the spirit within me. I don't know why. I don't know how. I can't explain why it happened on that morning, why I felt that intense need to help, or why God chose that to be the time to begin to teach me about the holy spirit. But it just was and I know that there is a reason for it all.

I think why I love NYC so much is because of how much I feel Christ's presence here. It is so prevalent to me. I have never been so filled with the love of Christ or inspired to do His will and to be immersed in the life He has planned for me. Not in Ohio, not in Europe did I feel all of this. I know He placed me here for a reason. For actually, so many different reasons. I can't help but shed tears of joy sometimes at the thankfulness I have to be able to spend my summer here and grow as a daughter of Christ in Him and in myself. I do not know what the future holds for me and where He shall place me, but at least I always know that I can find Him in New York. 

With much love, Lauren

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bewitching Hour.

Dress: c/o Deb.
Shawl: Aeropostale.
Boots: Thrifted.
Hat: c/o OASAP.

Hi there!

Snapped these outfit photos really quick in Central Park this past weekend right before I went to church. I was super rushed because I was running late (as always) but still wanted to fit some shots in of my outfit. For how muggy it was out and how rushed I was I am actually pleased with the photos. They capture perfectly that 'golden hour' so sought after in photography. To be honest though, the eerie-ness of my outfit makes it seem more like bewitching hour than golden. My mom always says this hat makes me look like a witch. I have to agree; especially in these photos, ha. 

If someone were to ask me what my favorite thing about NYC was, I think I would say the people. It's a strange answer for me because I am not a people person. I am without a doubt a text book introvert and always pick an evening to myself versus hanging out with others. But I love the people of New York because I like to study them. New Yorkers tell me I'm strange when I say I love NYC for the people. They cock their head sideways and say, " you know a bunch of crazies live here?" Every, single, time. Someone says this. But I like the crazies. I think the fascinating thing is that every crazy person in this city has a story. Sure, a lot of people are born in NYC, but most of the people come from all over the country, all over the world. I've never been immersed in such a culturally diverse city where so much is meshed together, but beautifully (even artfully) so. 

You see little pieces of people's lives as you go about through your own day. I love studying people on the subways. Finding out about who they are through the little things such as the way they're dressed, what they're reading, or how content or uncontented their face looks. I listen to their conversations and I learn not only about these people, but from these people. Watching their life pass by through this small peep hole I have for a split second helps me understand my own life.

I've never met kinder, more expressive, crazier, individualistic, interesting people than I have in New York. They are a city of united people. I think they are the essence of what it is to be American because it's every different person from every different background coexisting together to live here. I see the core of humanity here and what it is to be human and care for other humans. The emotions I see in this city on a daily basis are astounding... and leave me always wanting to know more, like a book you can't help but finish all at once. 

I'll never stop wanting to learn about the people who live here in NYC. Maybe some day I will become one of them and my story will continue here, to be studied and reflected on by someone else. All I know is that New York City is full of life. In the most abundant, raw, exciting way I've ever seen. And I love that. 

With much love, Lauren.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

NYC Adventures

Hello everyone! I've been very busy the past few weeks working during the week and going on adventures as much as I can on the weekends. I've been meaning to post more, but am usually exhausted by the end of the since I had a relaxing moment this evening I thought I would do a big post on all of the photos/things/places I've visited in NYC the last few weeks! x

I've seen so many people rave about this restaurant/dessert place: especially their famed frozen hot chocolates. Two of my fellow interns and I visited after work on Thursday and it for sure lives up to the hype. I got the frozen peanut butter hot chocolate and it was very delicious and very huge. It's hard to explain the taste/texture. Almost like hot chocolate, a frappucchino, ice cream all rolled into one. Hope to go back again someday. x

Cafe Grumpy
I was feeling very, well, grumpy this morning after having fallen asleep last night in all my clothes with the lights on after I promised myself I would just close my eyes "for a moment." I'd had a few friends recommend this coffee place so I ventured out to it this morning. Funny how a place called cafe grumpy actually made me happier. The atmosphere was very chill and comforting, and I sat in a little nook in the front of the cafe and people watched and wrote. I got a cappuccino and it reminded me so much of Florence. Highly recommend this little place.

Greenwich Letter Press
I have three journals I constantly write in. An every day, a free writing, and one for work notes. All three are drawing to an end, so I'm in the market for new ones. I am very picky about my journals and have to make "a connection" with one (I know, I'm a freak). I was looking up online good journal/stationary places in NYC and came across this Greenwich Letter Press. This place just took my breath away and I have never been so overwhelmed by so many things I want. It was an absolute dream of beautiful, unique, hand crafted cards and quirky wonderflness (I just can't even put into words how much I loved it so now I'm using words like wonderfulness). I found a journal I really liked but didn't have enough money on me to purchase today. But definitely coming back and highly, highly recommend if you're into pretty writing things. 

Rockaway Beach
I hadn't been to the beach in around 7 years and was very excited to take a trip last weekend to the largest US public beach, Rockaway. It was an easy 1 hour subway ride away from my place and I spent the afternoon lounging and relaxing sea side. It was a very charming, lovely beach that I want to go back to again. The weather was absolutely perfect that day and I had forgotten what it felt like to dig my toes in the sand and hear the ocean waves. I caught up on some reading (have recently gotten back into reading books in my spare time), and just people watched. It was so heartwarming to watch all of the families and little children having a blast. I sipped a refreshing iced coffee and had some seriously bomb french fries with this mysterious sauce from this boardwalk  place with latina flavour. This day was just what I needed after a long work week. 

Cafe Bene
Cafe Bene is apparently a South Korean chain of coffee/waffle shops but I had never heard of them before. I've stopped in a few times and just love the coffee and atmosphere. The one I go to (Chelsea) is so charming. I like to sit in the upstairs loft where there's a giant book case and a very natural, spacious vibe. I sometimes bring my laptop here to get work done, and before I leave NYC I want to get one of their delicious waffles that are piled with fresh fruit and whipped cream. 

And here are some more photos I've snapped:
Rooftop hangs in downtown.

Stumbled upon this amazing art/writing gallery.

Took an inspiring walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Had some amazing macaroons at the Laduree on Madison. (You've gotta try the chocolate--it's my fave!)

Always finding the unconventional in NYC.

 Love stumbling into Chinatown. Reminds me so much of my trip to China 10 years ago to get my little sister.

Somehow I always manage to find the ice cream trucks
 The beautiful place where I work. Sometimes I can't even believe it myself. 

I can take endless photos of the things I see and do here in NYC. It truly is magical. Every person must visit at least once in their life. I feel so lucky that I get to live here (even if it's only for a short period of time)

With much love, Lauren.