The Importance of Body Positivity in 2020 & the Social Media Age

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Body Positivity

I’ve seen over the last few years that as social media and its influence continues to grow, it becomes more and more difficult to know who you are and what it means to have a unique identity. Social media is constantly creating standards that we often feel we need to live up to and promote because a collective group tells us that they are right. I can’t imagine what our world would be like without the standards social media has set for us. Media in general, specifically print media, has been the long-time source for standards of beauty. Over decades these standards change, but with every change, there are always massive groups of people left out who don’t fit the current identity of “Beautiful.” Today, I’d like to talk about why it’s important to understand and EMBRACE why the majority of us fit outside the standards, why we are all still beautiful, and how to have body positivity.

OWN your Body & Love who you are

I believe there is nothing wrong with wanting to change your body. Health and Positivity are the two words that come to mind when I think of someone saying they want to change their appearance. Whether that change in appearance comes with weight loss, weight gain, surgical enhancement, or minor enhancements, all of these changes, however, should only be made with the mindset of doing it for yourself. Any change you make to your body should always be done with the perspective of growing more confident and happier with who you are, never with a compulsive need to look like someone else or fulfill someone else’s ideal standard of beauty. There is nothing wrong with losing weight to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get lip fillers or a breast enhancement if you want to change those parts of your body so that YOU feel confident. But it’s often the toxicity of change that leads people to make unhealthy or unnecessary changes that aren’t under the guise of feeling more confident but are made to mold themselves under the current standard of beauty.

Your Mental & Physical Health should = Body Positivity

Weight loss has been a topic of controversy for several years now. Because of incredibly high standards of beauty and the unrealistic expectations for women to meet them, a very unhealthy relationship has been created between women and weight loss, meaning body positivity is even more difficult. More often than not, you don’t “need” to lose weight. I myself have always been of a higher weight than most of my friends, and I struggled with it for years. I always felt “fat” and not as attractive as my friends.

When I hit a plateau in my life, I realized that my friends or the current standard of beauty weren’t my issue; it was me. I was depressed, stressed, and at rock bottom. When I began to take care of myself, eating better, and working out, I saw a change, not just in my appearance, but in my attitude, my emotions, and my routine. My journey with body positivity has taken me through several highs and lows. Until I had people in my life offering and sharing their knowledge of issues people can have with their bodies, I had never considered the repercussions of saying “I look fat” or “You look so skinny,” because you never know if someone struggles with a body image issue.

In June of 2020, when I decided to take control of my life, one of the things I really wanted to do was to become an overall healthier person. I wanted to change the things I ate, drop a little extra weight, and start drinking more water. When I decided to start this journey, I considered people who have struggled in the past with body image issues. I wanted it to be ok for me to want to do this, so I decided to do it in the most healthy and positive way possible. So, this is the game plan I gave myself – I am in no way an expert, a doctor, or a trainer; I am simply sharing with you the plan that is working for me in the most positive and healthy way.

My Game Plan

I have never once, nor will I ever, call what I am doing a diet. Simply making adjustments to what I eat, a little less here, a little more there—less sugar, less deserts, more protein, and chicken, I feel healthier. I try and always remind myself that I never need to “treat myself” if I want to eat something, then I just eat it. Having a positive relationship with food is so incredibly important; if you decide to “diet”  and don’t have a healthy relationship with food, this is often how eating disorders can form.

 

Body Positivity Body Positivity

 

Exercise: I didn’t want exercise just to be my way only way to slim down. As many of you know, I danced for years, so being active has always been a part of who I am and something I enjoyed. Then, after my recent knee surgery, I knew I needed something that was going to both help rehab my knee, help get me feeling more fit, healthy, and get me active again. So, after a long talk, my mom and I decided to hire a trainer to help me get back in the gym to rebuild my relationship with fitness. Not only has this person become one of my closest friends, but she helped strengthen my knee and rebuild that positive relationship with physical activity that I needed. Now, five months later, I love going to the gym; it’s a fix for me. Going to the gym and working out gets me pumped for the day and gives me a positive outlook.

And finally, my mantra. I tell myself it’s not about a number on a scale; I don’t care about how much I weigh; it will never be about the number. I simply want to get to a point where I am happy and positive with my body. Building muscle, slimming down, this is what I’m trying to do. I’m not fixated on stepping on a scale and seeing what I weigh each week; that toxicity is not welcome. In fact, in the five months since I’ve started working on living healthier, I have stepped on a scale three times. I have never allowed this number to define my progress, worth, or beauty. It’s simply a number, and my confidence is defined by how I feel about myself and not just my outward appearance.

Remember, Intentional Living is all about loving the life you live and creating a space in which you thrive and live fully. You cannot do that without a strong grasp on your mental and physical health, and body positivity. So, now that we’re at the end, let me say it again; I believe there is nothing wrong with wanting to change your body. But always remember to do it on your terms. Stay body-positive, and always remember, no matter what the standards of beauty are set to and no matter what the number is on the scale, you’re a goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fabulous Intentional Gifts to Give this Holiday Season

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intentional giftsintentional gifts

 

Gift giving can be a tricky trade. Many of us want to accomplish so much when we’re handing over our presents to our loved ones, best friends, or significant others. We all want to wow them with our knowledge of how well we know them, we want to surprise them, but most of all, we want to give them something they will love. So, when you’re out shopping for your presents this season, here is how you can put a little extra thought into gift-giving and making sure your gift not only wows them but is Intentional. Last week, I told you how you can best begin writing your New Year’s Resolutions and how to achieve them in 365 days. So, when you’re giving gifts this holiday season, before you do your shopping, ask people what is on their list to change in the upcoming year. Try and purchase a gift that can help them to achieve one of their resolutions and better themselves.

The most common resolutions every year are to (1) lose weight & eat healthier (2) Spend less money & save more (3) spend more time with family & friends (4) spend more time with yourself (5) be happier & more positive (6) read more (7) learn something new (8) stop a bad habit. Many of these resolutions require self-reflection and major life changes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them make these changes. So, if someone you’re planning on giving a gift to this year has something like this on their list of resolutions, then these Intentional gifts are bound to really wow them with your love and kindness.

La.Rue Holiday Gift Guide

 

intentional gifts

1. Book of the Month – This is a fantastic gift for someone who has it in their plans to read more. Just last month, my mom and I gifted this to my aunt to
celebrate her retirement when she mentioned she wanted to read more. You can gift 3 months for $49.99, 6 months for $89.99, or 12 months for $169.99. Each month, this person will choose from five books, all from different genres, to add to their collection. If none of the books for the month sound appealing, they can skip that round, and an additional month will be added at the end of their subscription. I signed up for the year subscription, which comes to just $14.17 a book; I receive a hardcover, top-selling book each month that usually sells for around $27. Book of the Month is an absolutely fabulous gift to give for the book nerd in your life or someone who is ready to read more. Use my link and get your first month for just $9.99

2. 6-Minute Dairy – I don’t know how many times I’ve already said it, but I’m going to keep saying it. The 6-Minute Diary is something I believe everyone should have in their repertoire for their daily routine. If you’re late to the La.Rue Party, you can read my blog, the Importance of Journaling in 2020, to know more about the diary and why I believe journaling to be so critical in 2020 and the age of Covid. But for now, if you’re having second thoughts about buying the journal for yourself, but you know of someone who would absolutely love it, or their resolution is to write more, reflect on their thoughts, or journal more, purchase them the 6-Minute Diary before coming back to purchase your own.

3. The La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge – If you know someone whose entire list of resolutions centers around changing their life, their habits, and their routines, then give them the gift of the La.Rue Intentional Living Challenge. You can read all about the challenge on the blog, but to offer a quick glimpse of the fantastic content in the challenge, you will find worksheets, exercises, menus, and guides, all catered towards helping you or the person you’re gifting, change their life to live intentionally. The challenge will guide you through every aspect of your life to see where changes must be made so that you may achieve your dreams. You can purchase the challenge today and use the code LARUE30CHALLENGE to receive 50% off the La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge today!

4. Gift Certificate to Spa or Class – for the person who wants to learn something new or needs to get back in touch with themselves. People are often wary of purchasing themselves a certificate to the spa or a class. We’re scared to try new things or spoil ourselves. So, if you know someone in need of some relaxation or they’ve been talking about wanting to learn something new like taking a yoga or kickboxing class or a pottery class, then see what you can do to purchase them a gift certificate. If you’re one whose up for an adventure and the classes are inexpensive, purchase the course for two, so you can go with your friend to try the new thing they have been talking about. This gift is personal and so thoughtful, so if you’re looking to really reach someone, I highly recommend a trip to the spa or your local classroom.

5. Adult Coloring Book – for the person looking to spend more time with themselves without their TV. Adult coloring books have made a come-back in the last several years. My mom and I have been working on a few of the Johanna Basford books, and we are obsessed! Coloring books are a fantastic way to relax, decompress, and without having to be too present or not present at all; I feel it’s a happy medium between reading a riveting book and watching a tv show you’re not actually watching. Adult coloring books are the perfect Intentional gift to give for the person looking for some relaxation time that is still fun and has a little bit of thought to it.

The holidays will be here in no time, and giving someone a gift that has little extra thought and meaning behind it shows just how much you care. I hope your holiday season is filled with intention and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet My Family

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Meet my FamilyMeet my Family

 

As I build La.Rue, I want you to be more and more confident to come here with a problem and the expectation of finding a solution. To do that, we have to build trust between us. To build that trust, I want to share parts of my life that maybe don’t have the most to do with Intentional Living but are incredibly important to me, like my family. My parents are the two most important people in my life. My mom and dad have always taught me that my life is meant to be extraordinary. There is a reason I have the relationship I do with my parents, and I tell people this often. In a later blog, I will tell you all about my brother Joshua and how we came to lose him in March of 2016. But for now, I want to explain the incredible blessing that came from his loss, which is the family dynamic we now have. When Joshua passed away, my parents were divorced, but over time, through grief, pain, and healing, we realized that those reasons no longer really mattered, and all that did matter was that we had each other. Now, five years later, and with me living back home temporarily, post-surgery, and semi post-pandemic, my parents and I have never had a stronger bond as a family.

 

Mama L’Heureux

Oh, where to begin… My mom is my best friend; she is the first person I go to in any situation. With good news, bad news, questions, and life advice, my mom is my confidant and my friend. I have never known another person to be so selfless and so caring. I often tell her that that is not always the best trait to have, but I always see her patience and courage to be kind. She has an incredible passion for being a mother, and although I’m nowhere near close, I know that one day, she will make an amazing grandmother. My mom grew up in Wisconsin with two brothers and two sisters, and she sat right in the middle. Although she misses her family back up in Wisconsin, she loves Florida and its heat. She recently bought a stunning new home that we had so much fun decorating and moving into.

My mom is someone who, no matter how far apart we are, she is always by my side. I share a great understanding of the world with my mom; we have an incredible bond that allows us to see the unique opportunities the world has to offer. My mom has always supported me in everything I do, always encouraged, pushed, and shown great interest in whatever I pursue. But what I love the most about my mom is how much pride and achievement she sees in me. From pageants to dance, from college to La.Rue, all that and what is in between, my mom has always been so proud of who I am, what I believe in, and what I have a passion for. Her support has always been a driving force in my achievement, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

To my mom, there are no words to explain how much I love you, so I promise to spend the rest of my life making you proud, as a way to say I love you.

Meet my Family

Papa Bear

My dad and I have a great bond that ties us together. We have always had this amazing father-daughter relationship that has been built off of our mutual interests. My dad taught me how to bowl as a kid; he taught me how to love sports, and most of all, he taught me to have an incredible sense of humor. My dad is my family’s main source of entertainment. So often we find ourselves laughing hysterically at some of the ridiculous things he says. The hilarity usually lasts for days, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many stories we have of my dad that follow us on family trips. For several years when my brother and I were kids we would take family trips to North Carolina over the summers. One year we went to the Biltmore, and we were walking through the wine vineyards when my dad reached up to the trellis and grabbed a grape with two fingers and said, “Is this real?” He proceeded to squeeze the grape and the juice flew right into his eye. As you can imagine, whenever we see grapes, we question their reality.

Even though my dad is the funny man of the family, he is also my papa bear, my protector, a man I am proud of. My dad has overcome so much heartache and difficulty in his life, he often reminds me that I am capable of doing the same. My dad grew up in a small town outside of Boston with two brothers and three sisters, also sitting in the middle. He works in construction, installing cabinets in incredibly lavish and expenisive homes. He is incredibly talented in his trade and likes to describe the work as a lost art. My dad passed down qualities of hard-work, humor, and humility to me. I am incredibly grateful for his support in La.Rue. Because of my dad, I have the strength never to let anyone tell me what I can and cannot do. No matter who, or no matter what the situation, my dad has always taught me to fight for my dreams.

To my dad, our lives have changed so much in the last five years. In the year that Joshua passed away, I thought I had lost a piece of you, and then I almost lost you. Our relationship, bond, and love brought you back to life and gave me hope. I love you so incredibly much.

Meet my Family

I hope you have enjoyed meeting my family as much as I have enjoyed introducing them to you; without my parents, Bruce and Janette, I would not be where I am today and La.Rue would not exist. I am looking forward to the day when I tell you about Joshua. If you’d like to learn more about me and who I am, you can read the About Lauren Page, but until then, I look forward to sharing more with you about my life in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Begin your list of 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year's Resolutions New Year's Resolutions

 

2020 is quickly coming to an end, and it’s about that time to begin thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I know 2020 probably wasn’t what most of us expected in the new decade, but there is no reason to bring over any negative vibes through to the new year. New Year’s resolutions are a time-honored tradition created to set goals in areas of your life that you’d like to see change. In the next few weeks, most of us will take the time to sit down and evaluate what our lives have looked like in 2020, despite the unexpected twists and turns, and make a list of the changes we would like to see. New Year’s Resolutions are often made with this notion of a dream life, but its the steps required to achieve that dream that are often overlooked. On today’s blog, I’ll share with you the best ways to create your resolutions, but most importantly, HOW to achieve them in 365 days.

 

Creating your list of ResolutionsNew Year's Resolutions

The top New Year’s resolutions every year are to lose weight, get a (new) job, save money, etc. Each of these resolutions could be applied to anyone in the world. People lack motivation or understanding of how to achieve their goals because they are often writing of goals that could be subjective to anyone and lack a direction towards their own life. What do I mean? Your list of resolutions needs to be as unique as possible; they need to be descriptive and thought out to create your plan of action to achieve them. To create your list, it’s great to start with broad goals, but narrowing them in to fit your life and who you are is the challenge. It requires honesty with yourself and a clear drive to achieve the resolutions you’re writing. Be clear about what exactly you want to achieve; this will help you to solidify the actions you must take to reach this goal. Writing 3-5 goals is ideal based on the reality of what action it may take to achieve your larger goals.

Once you’ve got your list of resolutions, it’s time to begin creating a plan of action to achieve these goals. The best way to achieve your goals is by hitting them head-on. When you understand what changes you need to make, you’ll know how to achieve your dreams. This is often times where people fall short of achieving a resolution; they see the goal, they understand the goal, but they have no game plan on how to achieve the goal.

 

Steps to Achieving your New Year’s Resolutions

1. Identify your goal: Once you’ve got a goal in mind, detail the goal as much as possible with your ideal outcome. For example: If you’re goal is to get a new job, make it unique to you. Where and what industry would you like to work in? What position are you qualified for? What is your ideal salary? Do you have an ideal company you’d like to work for? Write in as much detail as possible what achieving that goal would look like.

2. Create a Plan of Action: Once you’ve got your 3-5 goals, you need to begin writing down HOW you’re going to achieve them. Once you’ve got a clear goal, start creating an action plan of how you’re going to get there. This process could involve research, but most of all, it centers around your own understanding of where you need to make changes in your life. Sticking with the example of the job goal, maybe you begin by researching the places you’d like to apply, positions available, salaries for people in those positions. Make a list of people you’d like to use for references and how to write the strongest cover letter. Create a list of the steps to achieve your resolution. Write out a detailed agenda and plan of action to achieve your goals.

Take Action

3. Set Deadlines: Now, taking those first two steps are all well and good, but you’re never going to achieve your goals unless you put in the work and the time. A critical step in achieving your resolutions is setting deadlines. It’s more productive to set mini-deadlines for the steps you need to take rather than setting one deadline for the larger goal. You really have no idea how long achieving a goal could take so setting one deadline could be less productive. When setting deadlines, consider how much time and work must go into one step of achieving your larger goal. Continuing with our example, researching jobs won’t take as long as writing, editing, and reviewing cover letters. Be aware of the amount of work each step will take.

4. Have Actionable Responsibility: Creating an Intentional Life for yourself means holding yourself accountable to your feelings, emotions, dreams, and aspirations. This is not an easy thing to do. In a similar post, Challenging Yourself to Achieve Your Dreams, I discuss the setbacks that can occur from having the mindset of “I can do it tomorrow…” When you’re working towards achieving your New Year’s Resolutions, remind yourself that you set these goals because YOU believe that your life would have been different last year, had these goals already been your reality. You have dreams because you envision a better life for yourself. Have a friend, family member, or mentor be your accountability partner on this journey. 

Achieve your Dreams

5. Achieve Success: Getting here can feel impossible but let me remind you that achieving your dreams is absolutely possible. Understand that you’re not alone; surround yourself with people that encourage you to succeed, utilize resources, and never, ever give up. You are capable of achieving your dreams.

 

New Year's Resolutions

 

Remember, Intentional Living is all about creating a life and a space in which you can achieve your dreams. My La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge has just launched, and it is the perfect guide to creating an Intentional Life for yourself in 2021. This guide will help you to take each of these steps in achieving your goals and New Years Resolutions. If you’re not yet prepared to invest in your future, you can start with downloading my FREE Habit Tracker and implement positive Habits in your life that lead you to achieving your dreams. Read the blog, Track Your Habits to learn more. Head over to the shop page to get your FREE Habit Tracker & purchase your 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge today and visit the blog on the Challenge to receive your promo code today. Look out for a posts on Creating a Mood/ Vision board & Creating an Intentions Board to help guide you into a positive New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Healthy & Positive Skincare Routine

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night time skincare routine night time skincare routine

 

For my entire life, something I have never struggled with is my skin. I have been fortunate throughout my life to have beautiful, clean skin. I have never struggled with acne, scars, discoloration, or sun damage. For years, people have asked me what I do to take care of my skin and what my routine was; and for the longest time, I never had one. I always underappreciated my clean skin. Of course, I was grateful to never go through those struggles. But for such a long time, I was never actively taking care of my skin. I would constantly leave makeup on, wouldn’t wash my face, or put any products on to help it stay young and beautiful. Now, at 23, I have a fantastic skincare routine that I have been practicing for months. This routine not only helps to keep my face clean and young, but makes my skin feel refreshed, looking brighter, and makes me feel beautiful.

I take great pride in taking care of my skin. Over the last year, my skincare routine has become a part of my daily routine. I love that I have embraced the responsibility and understanding that it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself. So, before I go into this post and talk to you about my own routine, I want to preface that I have never even met with a dermatologist, I have worked with aestheticians on gaining knowledge on what is best for my skin, and I have spent a long time building this routine for myself and know that everyone’s skincare routine is different. Everyone’s skin requires different attention, products, and love.

Bright and Airy in the AM

night time skincare routineAs I mentioned before, I have gotten advice from great aestheticians over time. I also follow many bloggers religiously. A frequent topic of conversations amongst their viewers is asking what latest products grace a bloggers shelves in every aspect of their life, not just skincare. I really wanted to write this blog because I think it’s a fun way for you to get to know more about what I like, what I’m willing to spend my money on, and how I take care of myself. So, let’s start in the morning. People always preach to me to avoid the sun and to always wear sunscreen because my skin is so fair. Investing in a great sun protector is, I think, essential to every skincare routine. The Colorescience Broad Spectrum Powder is an excellent applicator for over your makeup or to just wear as an extra light coverage. Even though it has an expensive price tag, it has fantastic ratings and reviews and is definitely worth the investment.

My other morning must-have is my Charlotte Tilbury under-eye Magic Cream. When I was working NYFashion Week, the stylist I was working for brought us to Bergdorf’s to get our makeup done before attending the shows. The artist there had asked me if I’d ever used Charlotte Tilbury, and I didn’t even know the brand. After a few years, Charlotte Tilbury is one of my favorite brands, and I absolutely swear by her products, specifically this cream. With a light application in the morning, after about 5 minutes, it has gotten rid of any circles, discoloration, and immediately brightens the area. So, yes, magic is the right word to use.

 

 

Goodnight, let’s go to bed…

 

night time skincare routine

For my nightly routine, some of the products listed below are ones I use just a few times a week.  I don’t want to overwhelm my skin with too many products, so some I use just once or twice. For the products I do use every day, they are the ones I preach by. This nighttime skincare routine has been consistent for me for over a year now, and I absolutely love every one of the products I use. L’Occitane is an entirely under-rated brand. The L’Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam and Light Comforting Cream are products I have been using since I was 19. Even though I didn’t always take care of my skin back then, I knew these two products were fantastic from the start. I start my night routine using the Cetaphil makeup remover wipes; so many people love Cetaphil and it’s just a great brand all around. I then just rinse off my face with cool water and use these great soft, non-scratchy, cloths to dry my face lightly.

Once I’ve gotten all my makeup off, I use my cleansing foam to clean out my pores, get any excess makeup off, and any dirt or grime that the wipes won’t get. I love using a face wash along with a wipe because it really does clean out my pores. After I’ve washed off the cleansing foam, rinsed my face, and dried it again, I use my “Buffet” serum, followed by a small drop of my Hyaluronic Acid, both from The Ordinary. Then, I end the night with my L’Occitane light cream lotion. I cannot tell you how much I love this cream; it’s soft, lightweight, and smells fantastic. The cream keeps my face moisturized and looking fresh every day.

During the Week…

My Vitamin C Serum from Mario Badescu is a product I only use once a week. I usually apply the serum right after washing my face and rub it in as best I can and wait 5-10 minutes before completing my routine. This serum is a great rejuvenation applicator. It helps to brighten up the color on my face and adds a little dewiness to the skin. My Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is something I also love. This product only comes out when I have the occasional acne or red spot. The high amount of salicylic acid dries out whatever is under the skin, and the next morning my red spot is already almost gone.

The Laneige Lip Mask is yet another product I completely love. I only recently added it to my repertoire, but as someone who stress bites their lips, it is an amazing product for re-hydrating and plumping your lips. And lastly, the gemstone facial roller. I have seen many mixed reviews about this product and what it does to “help” your skin. Well, personally, I love it. Using this tool daily to activate the muscles in my face and massage the area to reduce redness and puffiness.

I hope you found this post helpful if you were looking for any new tips or products to try! I know everyone has a different skincare routine and products that work for them that maybe don’t work for others, but if you’re looking for something new to try or a new routine at night, I hope this helps! As always, you’re a goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

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La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge

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WOW! I can’t believe we’re here, at the launch of my first product: The La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge. Today on the blog, I will share what the challenge is, how it works, and HOW it will change your life. This challenge is a 20-page workbook that will guide you on making small, successfull changes in your life to live intentionally. I have been working on developing this guide for weeks now, and I am so beyond thrilled to finally share it with you. Not only did I spend a great amount of time and effort creating the challenge, but it is incredibly special to me because it’s what made me change my life five months ago to create La.Rue, which has gotten me here today.

 

What is the Challenge?

The La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge is a guide I have curated and designed to help you change your life to live intentionally and achieve your dreams. This guide is for the person struggling with direction, feeling unmotivated, stuck, or in need of some inspiring guidance. The challenge holds in-depth exercises, menus, and worksheets that will show you how to redesign your life to live intentionally. Over the last few weeks since launch, I have preached to you what Intentionally Living is and how it works. This lifestyle is created upon your foundation of beliefs and what you dream of achieving in your life so that you may create a life you love, excel in, and live every day to what your version of “fully” means.

This unique guide covers every aspect of your life to make changes you’d like to see in those areas. On the Intentional Living Guide Worksheet, and in the Blog Intentional Living, I discuss the five pillars of Intentional Living and their corresponding intentions in your life. The exercise in the challenge, “What Does Your Dream Day Look Like?” requires you to take note of what you have accomplished in your life, understand what your dreams and aspirations are for your future, and, most importantly, answer the question of How you plan to achieve these dreams. You will go through an intense 30-day challenge, designing a plan of action that allows you to see success in small goals, ultimately leading you to achieve your dreams.

 

How the Challenge Works…

In the Challenge, you will notice that each page corresponds to one another; they all share a common purpose, to work towards creating a space in which you live fully and intentionally. You begin with a letter from me and an instructions guide on how the pages work and their purpose in creating an intentional life. You will begin by completing the Dream Day exercise, followed by filling out your Habit Tracker and Intentional Living Guide for the month. These will set the tone for the rest of your challenge and guide you on how to create your plan of action.

Following those worksheets, you’ll begin creating your ideal morning and evening routine that you will follow for the month, as well as your Financial lineup so you can begin tracking your spending. Finally, you will fill out your weekly planning sheet and your Task Drop for the month of all of the things you’d like to accomplish and complete, which will take you through to the last step of creating your Daily Plan. The Daily Planning page is an accumulation of every page, creating actionable responsibility in your day to complete your entire challenge.

 

How the Challenge will Change your Life!!!

This challenge has the sole intention of helping you to create change in your life. Change comes from taking charge of your life, understanding what you have the ability to control, taking control, and creating the life you want to live. This is scary, trust me, I know. It requires a great deal of trust in yourself, responsibility in your actions, and honesty. But what you must understand is that it takes this action for you to reach that dream life. The Intentional Living Challenge was created months ago before I even knew what it was. I was stuck and lost in my life, unsure of what my next steps should be and what I wanted to do. I sat down at my kitchen table and made a list of all of the things I wanted to do in my life, all of the things I wanted to accomplish, and I made a list of what I could and could not control. After a series of incredible events, I ended up here, writing this blog for you to show you that you can make that significant change in your life too.

I want to show you that life doesn’t have to be mediocre or just good or something you just settle for. Your life can be extraordinary; you are fully capable of achieving your dreams and reaching your goals; you just have to have the right motivation, determination, and passion for getting there. There  are so many things and excuses we allow in our lives to hold us back: fear, judgment, and the promise of tomorrow. But let me be completely honest – and frankly blunt – with you. Fear is another way of telling yourself you can’t do it if you allow it to hold you back. Of course you’re scared to follow your dreams, rejection and failure are tough and sometimes hard to overcome, but believe me, there is a reason for everything, and we face those challenges so that when we do achieve our dreams, it means that much more. Judgment is even more complicated; it’s a combination of fear and insecurities that hold you back from moving forward. When I thought about creating La.Rue, the biggest thing holding me back was the fear of judgment. And finally, the promise of tomorrow, a combination of everything, a way for us to make excuses because we believe tomorrow is better for following our dreams, rather than today.

I created this challenge because I genuinely believe it will help you move beyond these excuses and fears. This challenge will guide you to creating a life in which you’re excited to live, proud of your accomplishments, and willing to fight your fears. Intentional Living is a lifestyle; you create a space to live your life fully and freely. Create your space and begin the challenge today. Use the code LARUE30CHALLENGE to receive 50% OFF your purchase of the challenge.

As always, you’re a goddess, and thank you for being here so I can do what I love every day. Use the hashtag #LaRue30ILC to show me how you design your guides and worksheets and progress throughout your challenge. I wish you the best of luck in changing your life. Purchase your challenge, HERE! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plan a Fabulous Girl’s Night

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Fabulous Girl's Night Fabulous Girl's Night

 

Girl’s Night is essential. To what? I don’t know, but it is. Maybe our health. I don’t know about you, but I have some incredibly special friends in my life, and girls night is a way to celebrate those friendships and spend time with the people you love. Right now, with the state of the world and the way things are changing, it’s important to know all of the ways you can have fun at home with your gals. My friends and I have gotten creative over the last several months finding ways to have fun without going out, and even better, without spending a lot of money. Every girl’s night can be different, depending on the number of people showing up, where you live, etc. But all of these things can add an exciting element to your night!

 

Dinner & Drinks

Girl’s night in means fine dining and fun cocktails. A great part about having your friends over is that everyone can bring something, and everyone can do something. When I have my gals over, if we’re not going out to dinner, we plan a fun meal to cook that we can all contribute to and enjoy.

Let’s start with a drink menu; I bought this book a while back, How to Cocktail, and for every event or girls night we have at the house, I refer to this fantastic book for our drink menu. We have tried some that turned out amazing and some that flopped, but it’s great to have a reference point if some people prefer specific alcohol or have dietary restrictions. Next, the dinner menu, it’s always a classic look to start with a fabulous charcuterie board with a great mix of cheeses, fruits, meats, and dips that elevate the evening. Plus, you don’t want to be drinking on an empty stomach, so it’s always great to have snacks out. For dinner, have a meal planned out that will be fun, but easy to cook. Before the night comes, make sure you have enough food for everyone, and you’ve all decided on the meal together! Obviously we can’t forget desert! Personally, ice cream is the fan favorite, but really, with sweets, who cares!

 

Fabulous Girl's Night Fabulous Girl's Night

 

It’s All Fun & Games

Girl’s Night always means Game Night! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to play games with my friends. Whether there are three of use or ten of us, I always have my arsenal of board games to choose from. Recently, we had a girl’s night where Meghan dominated Sorry and re-minded me how to play Uno because it had been so long. We had a great time laughing and competing to win. Girls night is all about having fun and making memories with your friends. So get creative with your games, make Uno a drinking game, play Cards Against Humanity, or do what we do, and make a drinking game out of a show or movie you want to watch. One of my favorite games is to attach with Gossip Girl. Everyone takes a drink or takes a shot when the Gossip Girl voice speaks! It becomes so fun, and when you catch someone slipping up on drinking, you get to tag them and make up a new rule for the night.

Not every girl’s night in means staying in for the whole night. So if you’re doing a Girl’s Night Out, here are some fun ideas!

1. Mini Golfing / Bowling: these are the classic go-to’s for having fun and getting out! It’s also a great place to take people that you may still be getting to know or introduce one friend to another. It’s a comfortable atmosphere to bond and get to know each other.

2. Escape Room: Escape Rooms are incredibly fun. I cannot stress to you how much I love doing these. These rooms are great for so many occasions, team building, bridal showers, or even just a fun girl’s night. It’s an hour of action-packed fun that certainly will create memories for you and your friends.

3. Ever been to Dave & Buster’s? It’s not just a place for kids! It’s a fun time to play classic and new arcade games, drink, and eat great food while you travel around the building playing all the games you loved as a kid!

Plan Your Next Girl’s Night! 

If it’s been a while since your last girl’s night, text your friends and make some plans. It’s such a great way to reconnect, catch up, and have fun with your friends. Girl’s night is sacred to me. Spending time with the people I love, getting to know them better, making memories, and laughing. I have such a great time with my friends, hearing the latest gossip, guy talk, and discussing our lives! It’s an amazing bonding experience and a great way to catch up if you’re not in the mood to go out! Let me know what your girl’s night traditions are in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Challenging yourself to Achieve your Dreams

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achieve your dreams achieve your dreams

 

Selflove and gratitude have been a hot topic of 2020; in fact, they have been topics of importance for the last several years. I believe that to enjoy your life and live it “fully” means to continue challenging yourself daily to be the best you. Living your best life doesn’t come from putting in zero effort, no energy, and no time; your dreams are achieved by your motivation to never give up and your passion to succeed. So, when I say it’s time to challenge yourself daily to create an Intentional Life, I mean, it’s time to create challenges that promote progress to achieve your dreams.

 

Setting Deadlines & Accountability

achieve your dreams People, including myself, so often (even too often) make the excuse for themselves that they can “Do it tomorrow…” and yes, if you think about it, that’s probably true. But I have something to tell you, tomorrow is not always certain, and your dreams aren’t going to wait around for you to achieve them. So, the next time you’re telling yourself you can put something off, or wait, just remember that life is always going to get in the way, something will always come up, and there will always be reasons for you not to do something. So, NOW is the time to put in the work, now is the time to set goals and deadlines, don’t be afraid of the process, embrace the challenges, and get to work.

When I began diving into creating the blog, I understood what all of the surface level work would be; but I had no idea the number of tedious tasks I would have to complete to reach this point. Once I was a few weeks into the creative and building process, I knew it was time to set a deadline to launch La.Rue and share it with you. During this process, not only was I setting small and large deadlines for myself, but I had someone working with me who was there to hold me accountable. Unfortunately, when you’re building goals and working towards your dreams, things don’t just happen overnight. You have to create a process and a timeline that will keep you moving forward and hold you accountable to your success.

 

Dreams are your Selfish Love…

We all know that success takes time, but that’s not what I want to stress to you in this post. I believe that achieving your dreams also requires a great amount of selfishness. Of course, I appreciate the drive to succeed to help others. Perhaps you’re a parent, and you want to build a life for your children, or you have parents that you want to provide for, trust me, I understand. But something I have learned throughout friendships and relationships and maturing is your dreams require you to be selfish. The help that you’re providing for other people has to be a bonus. Your dreams are only for you, and your success must be something you want for yourself before you can pass it on to others.

Let’s put this into perspective. Think about the amount of time and effort you dedicate to something you do just for yourself that has no effect on others. It doesn’t have to be anything significant or dramatic; for example, I dedicate about 3-4 hours a week to working out, including going to the gym, riding my bike, doing yoga, etc. Now, think about this, since I started creating La.Rue, I have been putting in anywhere from 30 to 50 hours a week over the last four months to develop my dream and bring it to life. YOUR DREAM will take time to achieve, and in this time, it is so important to be selfish and make choices for yourself that benefit you and better you towards that achievement so that you may eventually succeed and share your success with others. If I hadn’t been selfish and taken that time and my time now to create La.Rue, it would never be successful, and now that I have, it’s growing into the dream brand I have always wanted.

 

The Challengeachieve your dreams

1. Make your goals clear & concise – you cannot achieve your dreams if you don’t know what they are. Take a pen to paper or your hands to the keys and start typing away.
Get a clear picture of what you want to achieve and, more importantly, understand HOW you’re going to reach that success.

2. Set Smaller Goals & Deadlines – you can plan, write, and create forever, but you will never succeed if you don’t set deadlines to put your work or yourself out there. You will have more confidence and a stronger drive to achieve your dreams when you see success in reaching smaller goals. Set these goals and give them deadlines; when you see the progress over time, the success means so much more.

3. Accountability & Feedback – Find a mentor, a friend, a coach, a business partner, someone who will hold you accountable to these deadlines. When you have someone else relying on you to see progress, the motivation to complete the work becomes so much greater than doing it for yourself because you won’t exceed those deadlines. This accountability partner will also be there to give feedback. Often, we put so much time and effort into our work that, in the end, we’re not able to make objective opinions on its overall quality. This person will be there to offer feedback and objectivity when you’re too clouded to see what potential changes may add to the value of what you’re creating.

4. Never Give Up on yourself – Your dreams are your dreams for a reason. There are reasons or moments in your life that made you want the things you do. Don’t ever devalue yourself or your dreams because you fear what other people might think of you. Remember what I said about being selfish? This is the most critical time to do so because following your dreams is for you and no one else, so outside judgment has no effect on your success.

Your success will happen when you devote your time and your love to creating the life that you want for yourself. Never give up on that dream. As always, you’re a goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planners: The Best Tool for Optimal Organization

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I have always found that keeping my life organized is absolutely essential to my overall functioning. Staying organized keeps me sane, time conscious, and aware of what I’ve accomplished and what still needs to get done. Having a planner that allows me to track all of my tasks, calendar, and goals has always been important to me. I wanted one place where I could go to keep all of my life organized, and although a long-term goal of mine is to come out with a line of La.Rue planners (wink-wink), for now, I found one that I love that keeps me moving forward. If you’re struggling with not only getting organized by designing a day for productivity, read my blog, How I Design my Day to get some ideas on how to create a productive day for yourself.

 Day Designer

If you’re a paper person and like to carry around a physical planner, Day Designer is the ultimate calendar and planning tool for you. Every year they come out with a new collection of planners with a mini ($49) and regular size ($59) – both New Year and Academic Year calendars – designed to keep every day of your year organized and beautiful. The Day Designers offers you a detailed plan of your day for every weekday, giving you the chance to plan out your week in great detail to get yourself prepared. The planner’s beginning pages include several worksheets aimed towards achieving goals and redesigning your life to be more intentional. Following the introduction are daily planning pages for Monday-Friday, along with weekends, and monthly calendars. This planner is incredible, which is why I have been using it for years. Whether you’re a student or in the workforce, this planner will completely redesign your life and how you organize it.

 

Why it’s Important to Plan your Day

When it comes to planning and organizing, sometimes I do so much to get my work and thoughts collected that I overwhelm myself with how much I’ve separated all of this “organizing.” Over organizing can be just as stressful as not being organized at all, which is why it’s so important to find the tools that work for you that keep you moving through your day efficiently. Whether you’re in school or working a full-time job, or in-between, odds are you’re busy working on one project or another. In any setting it’s important to set deadlines for yourself outside of the ones already expected of you. For example, if you have an assignment or a project due and your boss or professor gives you a deadline, you take the time to plan out the actions and steps you need to take to get the final result. By creating a plan of action when attacking a new goal or new project, having it planned out and time dedicated, you’re much more likely not only to get it done on time, but produce a fantastic final product. The La.Rue Daily & Weekly Planning Pages are perfect for planning your days and weeks ahead of time to be prepared and organized.

Going in great depth when you plan your days means you’re setting your own deadlines and guidelines for whatever you’re working on. You’re blocking out time for specific things like work versus running errands, which keeps you on track throughout your day. Now, of course, it is ok for everything on your list for one day not to get done. There is always another day, but writing down everything allows you to see what you are able to get done. You are able to see what projects took the most time so that you’re more prepared for the next time you’re working on something similar. By writing a task down, checking it off, tracking your progress, and seeing your completion at the end of the day, it promotes a healthy attitude and great appetite for working hard and aiming to get things done. 

 

Apps for Organizing

If you’re more tech-savvy and like to keep all your organizing on your computer and phone, there are several apps to help you do so. Even though I have a Mac, I love Microsoft and google; so, I don’t use Pages or any of the Mac apps. For my overall organization of the blog, I absolutely love Microsoft OneNote and Google Docs. With OneNote, I can keep everything as organized as possible with different folders and sections and it’s all in one spot rather than combining my work with all of my personal things saved to my folders on my laptop. On Google Docs, I keep a master spreadsheet for all of the different content I use along with my Google Calendar that keeps me up-to-date and informed on my due dates and tasks that have to get done.

Over the years of schooling and working, I’ve come to find that it’s important to separate areas of your life in different ways to stay even more organized. If you’re a student, the app MyHomework Student Planner is fantastic for keeping you on track, reminding you of assignments due, and tracking your progress on major projects. For those of you who are working and have a lot going on with projects, maybe you’re in school too, and overall your life is busy, Trello is an amazing app to keep all of your ongoing work and projects tracked and organized. And finally, if you’re just starting to get your life organized, and you’re reading this thinking, “Lauren, I am not about to download and work on all of these apps.” Then MinimaList is the app for you; it’s a wonderfully minimal task app that helps you keep things organized in a clean and easy way. You can create lists, manage your tasks, set reminders, and create a plan of action for whatever you’re working on or towards. In fact, all of these apps and all of these programs do the same; it’s all about what suits the user’s needs and how efficiently you’d like to organize your life.

La.Rue 30-Day Intentional Living Challenge

I hope you’ve been noticing the promotional material that’s been showing up on my social media for the launch of the 30-Day La.Rue Intentional Living Challenge and I wanted to share a bit more of what it is here because if you’re in need of re-organizing your life completely, this is absolutely the challenge for you. This 30-Day Challenge will re-focus your life completely, requiring you to create new habits, change your routine, and live intentionally. How does this change your life? The end goal of the challenge is to understand what changes you need to make, what goals you must work towards, and what action you aspire to take in achieving your dreams. The La.Rue 30-Day Intentionally Living Challenge launches on November 12! Just ten short days away, so visit my shop to preorder your product now! And as always, you’re a goddess and keep thriving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Design my Desk & Workspace

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We love a stylish workspace moment. For years I have been obsessed with the office space from The Devil Wears Prada. The movie’s chic lines and classic color palette have always been a source of inspiration for me when I imagine what my office will look like in a New York City high rise one day. When I was younger, I also had an obsession with the desk design Elle Woods makes for herself in DC in Legally Blonde 2. The color pink was the only one in my palette, and I even went as far as to tell my mom we needed to go to the store to get “pinking shears” (I still don’t know what those are), so I could decorate my “office,” this was when I was about 12.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love for designing desks and workspaces that are beautiful and functional. Now that I spend so much time at my desk every day, I wanted to create a space that motivated me to work hard and put me in a positive attitude. Of course, staying organized was important, so the first thing I did was buy a desk with a lot of area space to work, but I didn’t want endless drawers and spots to put stuff for clutter. I wanted something clean, elegant, and functional to my needs. After the desk came the chair; again, I went for something with a pop of color but kept up with the clean and classic look. Once those two main elements where bought, I began to build a space that inspires me to work every day.

A workspace is important to a powerhouse woman. We need a space to conquer our goals and share our dreams. So when I knew that La.Rue was going to be my more than full-time job, I knew I needed a space that didn’t just say “I work hard” but says, “I dominate. I am success.” This space, gives me that inspiration.

 

Have a Routine at your Desk

When I sit down at my desk in the morning, I go over my calendar and to-do list for the day that I filled out in my planner at the end of the last workday. I add to the list whatever I’d like to accomplish that day and take out my notes from the previous day. Something I have been doing for years, from when I was in high school, through college, and now, is keeping a small box a little larger than the size of a sticky note on my desk to keep notes in. I call it my random thought box, and that’s exactly what it is. If I’m in the middle of a project or working on something and I think of something I need to do or remind myself of, or whatever the thought is, I write it down on a memo pad and drop the paper in the box. Every day I go through that thought box and spend time organizing, so that I have a convenient spot to keep all my thoughts when I don’t have time to stop and complete the task itself. If you want to read more about creating a routine, head over to the blog, Creating a Routine that works for you, so you begin designing a positive routine for your day and workspace.

 

Keeping your Workspace Organized

 

When I chose a desk, I mentioned before that I was aiming for something that wouldn’t allow for a lot of clutter. I wanted something with minimal storage space so that I wasn’t constantly having a mess or things at the desk that I didn’t need. So, because of this, I use my computer and technology to keep everything organized. The only things I use on paper are a notepad and my daily and weekly planning pages to have access to those things all the time, and I don’t have to go back and forth on my computer. Once I’m at my desk and settled for the morning, I open up everything I know I’ll need for the day.

After my workspace has been prepared for the day, I know I’ll work with more focus and attention because I already have a plan for the day and everything I need to complete that plan. Whether you’re in a corporate office, cubical, home office, a dorm, or just your desk in your bedroom, design it to be something that makes you feel good, somewhere you’re excited to sit down and do work. Environments and settings are just as crucial to the actual work being completed. Would you prefer working in a light, airy room filled with things you love and aesthetically pleases you or a boring desk with no personality? By creating a space that’s your own and you love, you’ll be more excited and motivated to complete your work and be happier throughout the day.

 

 

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