Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why I chose Beautycounter

Hey guys!

So today I wanted to talk about a big life move I made recently! I am always scouting out great new brands and makeup and skincare to try to be able to find the best of the best and my searches led me to a new brand I hadn't heard of before called Beautycounter.

Truth be told one of my close friends had been raving about it for the past few months to me about how amazing it was and how great it was for you but I hadn't paid it much attention until recently. She finally said hey just come over and lets have coffee and I'll tell you about it to see if you might be interested in any of the stuff. So long story short I fell in LOVE with the message of this brand and decided to take the leap and join myself!

Now, for those of you who may not be familiar with Beautycounter allow me to let you know a little bit about this amazing company! From an article on Huffingtonpost: "Gregg Renfrew launched Beautycounter in 2013, a B Corporation that’s single-mindedly focused on creating transparency and safety in the personal care industry, through truly innovative skincare and beauty products that set a new health and safety standard."

 Gregg was just like I was and just like many of you may be right now which is unaware and in the dark about what is going on in the beauty world and then she decided to start researching beauty companies in search of better products to use for her and her kids. When searching, like many, she didn't find exactly what she was looking for so she decided to start Beautycounter as a means of giving the beauty world an amazing new set of products that not only work well but are also not bogged down with the horrible chemicals that are in so many of the beauty products in America today.

This was one of the huge reasons I was hooked into learning more about Beautycounter. I normally always try and find better products with better ingredients and Beautycounter offers that in more than just one category. They have skin care, hair care, and makeup along with body washes and soaps AND their baby care line. They really do have everything!

I think this brand is a brand that needs so much attention because not only do they want to make their products better they want to make ALL products better. Their mission is "to get safer products into the hands of everyone" and they mean that!

From the Beautycounter website:

"The Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful in the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day, and to make their own judgments about safety. It's time for a change. The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938."

That fact came as a SHOCK to me! Who would ever think that an industry as huge as the beauty industry hasn't had regulation laws passed in almost 80 YEARS! There have been so many advancements within the technology and business worlds so why has there been no new legislation on something that we put on our bodies each and every day in almost 80 years?! I'm betting you are looking as astonished as I was when I first heard about this. So what can you do about it? Well Beautycounter is constantly spreading the word that this needs to change and big businesses need to be held responsible for what they put in their products and they even have a page where you can call your state representative and tell them the importance of passing new legislation on this topic.

There is so much I can say about Beautycounter and all of the amazing things the brand is doing but the most important thing is that they have quality products that WORK. Their products also are constantly screened for better ingredients and they are a forward thinking brand with an amazing mission and product base.

My decision to choose Beautycounter is something I want everyone to know about. I stand behind this brand and their products and I can tell you that not only do these products have better ingredients but they also have so much heart and soul put into each and every one of them to make sure that it is top quality and they are just darn good products! Everything that I have ever used from Beautycounter I have fallen in love with because not only do the products work exceptionally well but I also have the piece of mind that what I am putting on my body is the best thing I could possibly be using.

I could go on and on forever about this but I will leave it here for now. If you are interested in giving Beautycounter a try please feel free to visit the website through here: Beautycounter and look at all of the amazing products we have to offer. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask me!

xoxo Jess

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Best of: Pajama sets for Christmas Eve/Day

Happy almost Christmas everyone!

So, continuing with the festive season posts I thought I would do a fun post on some Christmas PJ sets that I love that you could rock on Christmas Eve/Day that are not only cute but super festive and comfy!

first let's start off with something that is not only great for holiday sleep wear but something all year round! Victoria's Secret Sleep Shirts!
My all time ultimate favorite sleep wear is Victoria's Secret's Sleep Shirts!

They. are. HEAVEN! If you have never worn them before then you are missing out! Not only are they super comfy and soft but they are also the perfect amount of sexy and the perfect jammies to wear on Christmas. Victoria's Secret also makes some of the cutest holiday themed ones A N D they are on sale right now 2/$40! It is honestly a match made in heaven. I will normally grab tons of these during the semi-annual sales because they are usually marked down to $15/$20 a piece and they are such good quality they last forever! I had to buy some during their amazing Black Friday sale and they came in last week and definitely do not disappoint. I have been living in them!

(These are also a great gift idea if you are looking for something fun and cute to get for your significant other or even to buy matching ones for you and your bestie!)

Link to buy them is here: Victoria's Secret Sleep Shirts

If you aren't so much into wanting to be a little sexy minx for Christmas there are other options out there for you! Some of my other absolute favorite jammies come from Target!

They not only have a HUGE selection but they also have some of the CUTEST pjs in holiday themed and also my other favorite... Disney! I included a few of the different types they offer at Target above but honestly you could spend 30 to 45 minutes looking at everything they have right now because they have SO many cute ones! This would also be a great place to create a wish list to share for Christmas and even upcoming holidays for later! They have sleep shirts and cute holiday sets that are thinner and have jogger type bottoms but they also have the classic holiday sets with he button down top and draw string pants. They ALSO have cute sleep onezies and sleep shirts... I mean honestly you just have to go look because their selection is so amazing and they have some great deals right now!

Link to go check out all their cute jammies: Target Sleepwear

If you are looking for somewhere with a great deal to buy your Christmas jammies OLD NAVY is having an AMAZING sale right now!!!

So right now Old Navy has their sleep pants for SEVEN DOLLARS EACH! yes that's right you heard correctly... $7! they also have their cute sleep sets for only $12 and I think that is AMAZING! If you are wanting to grab matching sets for you and all your siblings or all of the women in your family to rock on Christmas Eve/Day this would be an amazing place to go right now to get a great deal! I have owned many a pair of Old Navy pjs in my lifetime and it was always something my mom would buy me to have as my Christmas Eve present when I was younger. I would always get a new PJ set to be able to sleep in for Christmas.  

Link to check out Old Navy's amazing deals: Old Navy Sleepwear

The amazing thing about both Target and Old Navy is that you can also grab some cute Men's PJs while you are there so that you and your significant other or even your siblings can enjoy the festive holiday wears as well! :)

Happy shopping! Tweet me if you buy any of these and let me know! (@thejesslauren)

xoxo Jess

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas is coming!!!

Hey guys!

I can't believe that November is almost over! Just a few short weeks and then Christmas day is here! Today I wanted to talk about a few things I love to do to get me in the Christmas mood just in time for December!

If you know me you will know that Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and there is no better way to get into the spirit of the holiday than with some Christmas music!

I listen to Christmas music all year round but if you're not like me and you can only handle a few little doses of Christmas then now is the time to whip out those old favorites and also find some new ones to get you feeling holly and jolly! I have a few amazing albums I would recommend:

The first one is the brand new Pentatonix Christmas album A Pentatonix Christmas! Pentatonix have released Christmas albums for the last few years and they are always one of my favorites to listen to and this year's album does not disappoint! It has a favorite of mine from N*SYNC's Christmas album  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and I no lie have jammed to that EVERY time I've gotten into the car! There are also other amazing classic holiday songs they have covered such as I'll be home for Christmas, O Come all ye faithful, and White Christmas just to name a few! If you haven't ever listened to their other Christmas albums I highly suggest giving all of them a listen!  Here is the link to their newest album if you want to preview a few of the songs or buy it! (it's only $7 on iTunes!) A Pentatonix Christmas Album

The other album that is guaranteed to get me in the holiday spirit is Michael Bubl├ęs' Christmas album! I love listening to his music all year round but there is just something about listening to his smooth jazz influenced music during the holidays! It is always sure to get me in the mood for Christmas!

If you have burnt yourself out on Christmas music another way to get yourself feeling ready for the holidays is watching vloggers around the holidays. I like to do this  year round also but especially to get me in the mood for Christmas. If it is not quite December yet I like to watch Christmas vlogs/videos on YouTube from the previous year. Most of the vloggers I follow do what is called Vlogmas where they vlog every day in December leading up to Christmas and they all do such festive things like getting their Christmas trees and decorating them, going to look at Christmas lights, wrapping presents, talking about their favorite Christmas films and doing things with friends like making gingerbread cookies, ect ect. It is just something that REALLY gets me in the festive mood! Besides vloggers looking up videos on YouTube from people who travel to Disney World during the holidays is also one of my favorite things to do. I love watching videos of the Holiday Wishes fireworks show and the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party parades and just seeing the parks decked out in all of ther Christmas best really set the holiday mood for me. It makes me want to grab a hot chocolate, put on my most Christmassy pajamas, and snuggle on the couch while watching Christmas films!

A few of the people I love to watch around Christmas are Zoe aka Zoella (her main and vlogging channels), Tanya BurrSacconeJolys, and Gabbie. These are a few of my favorite vloggers all year round but their Christmas/December vlogs are my favorite and I love re-watching their vlogmas ones whenever I want to feel Christmassy!

If Christmas music and watching vloggers aren't your cup of tea to get yourself ready for the holidays then there really is only one thing left to do. Full Immersion. One of the things I like to do to get me in the holiday mood  when it is nearing the end of November is to decorate! There is NOTHING more Christmassy than putting up your own tree and setting out all of your festive dish towels and candle stands and decorating the mantel. Along with decorating your house it is also important to don your most festive holiday wears. I like to start wearing my Christmas hair bows and Christmas themed sweaters/apparel as well as use all of my fun Christmas mugs and cups and just surround myself with 24/7 Christmas.

There is something about the holiday season that just puts me in a good mood pretty much all the time and whenever I feel a little down I love doing these things to put me right back in the best of moods. I hope you have enjoyed reading about what I like to do to get me in the holiday spirit and if you are trying to find your holiday cheer I hope one of these things can help you!

Happy Holidays!! :)

xoxo Jess

Monday, November 21, 2016

New seasons in life

Hey guys!

So today I want to talk about something exciting and also scary! Starting a new season in your life.

I am 26 going on 27 in January and as I have hit my mid to late 20's so many things have changed in this new season of my life. Friends have come and gone, I have figured out more of who I am and I have also recently switched from a part time retail management job into what some would label a "real world" job at a local hospital working as a manager for their IT support desk (I know it sounds super fancy right?). Through all of this transitional time I have learned so much about who I am as a person and who I want to be when I grow up (because let's face it I still don't consider myself to be an adult quite yet). So I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in the past few months to a year in the hopes of helping one of you who may also be going through a transition in your life.

I have learned transitions are NOT EASY! There are a lot of "growing pains" when you are moving from one season of your life to the next and through a lot of these growing pains you learn so much more about who you are.

The transition from going full force in graduate school to graduating and also no longer being labeled as a student was a huge growing moment for me. I had to learn who I was without that label. Our entire childhood and young adult lives we are in school and we are a part of that type of environment and it becomes a huge part of who we are and how we label ourselves. Being in an academic environment is like being in a different world (especially graduate school). When you're in graduate school you are around the same small group of people for two years and you grow accustomed to that environment so when you graduate and none of that is the same anymore it can be difficult. I know I really struggled with it post grad because most of my friends went back to their hometowns or moved away to new jobs and new cities and we all separated. Thankfully I had a community of friends through theater who were all still right here with me but that didn't make the separation from those other people any easier. I have learned through life that a big part of growing up is learning to move with the ever changing tide of friends who come and go from your life. In this time of my life I learned the hard way that even though we may want friends to be in our lives closely forever they aren't all going to be that way and it is just a part of life that helps us grow.

Through this transition more concentrated on myself. In my experience of my mid twenties so far I have learned that though you may have people around you who care and love you the most important person who should care and love you is yourself. In most of my adolescent and young adult life I struggled heavily with loving myself as I was. Being confident in myself is something I have really had to work on (especially over the past year) and I have learned so much about myself and I have put in so much more love and time for myself that it has really had an impact on my life. I had a very hard realization of my self worth and how others around me were treating me and I had to make some really tough choices and let some people who had been in my life for my entire adulthood go because I realized I deserved better than what I was getting. That was a hard realization to come to and it is still a sore spot for me even today but I know that in the long run it was the right decision to make. Through this realization I also had to slowwwww down. I realized that I was constantly going and doing things and not giving myself enough time to just sit and be alone with myself because I was scared of what I would find when left to my own devices. That was just a part of self discovery that I had to go through. I had to learn to be at peace with myself and learn to enjoy doing things alone. I always depended on other people to pull out my personality and to feed off of and when I actually sat down and thought about it I realized I needed to be building those things up within myself and not relying on others.

Starting a new season can be so difficult because as humans we don't really like change. I know I for one used to hate when anything changed because it meant I had to get out of my comfort zone. Learning to accept changes and start again are some of the biggest challenges in adulthood and I think it's something that never goes away and people who are good with change have learned from their previous seasons of life and friendships and have managed to learn how to accept the changes and keep living their best lives. If there was any advice I could give to you if you are going through the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another it would be to roll with the punches. Life will 100% never go to plan. There will always be curve balls thrown your way and learning how to deal with that is so important to ensuring you stay the happiest you can be.

I hope that this has helped some of you who may need a kick to end a certain chapter that you know needs to end or if you have already ended that and are trying to figure out how to move on to the next. Just remember without these moments in life there would never be growth. You can do anything you set your mind to.

xoxo Jess.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Favorites

*It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrr*

It's fall and finally starting to get cold in the deep south and I couldn't be more excited! I have been obsessed with so many things over the past few months so let's just get right to it!

Let's kick this off with beauty favorites:

Sigma Brushes
Like almost every other beauty blogger/vlogger out there I have fallen in love with the Sigma brand brushes. I was shopping a few weeks ago in my local Sephora and noticed they carried Sigma brushes (have they always and I've just never noticed?)! Some of my favorite beauty gurus have been raving about these brushes for months/years and I hadn't really seen any around in any of the stores in my area so I was ecstatic!  I bought the angled contour brush first and OH MY GOD! that brush gives the best contour definition I have ever had and it blends the contour shade out so beautifully it is definitely a must have! If you are looking for a new brand of brushes to use then I would definitely spend the money and get a set of these brushes to use because they will not disappoint! A set of those brushes is definitely going on my Christmas list to Santa this year :)

Beauty Blenders
I know I know. You're thinking to yourself  "Jessica, where have you been, under a rock??" Well the answer is yes and no. I have been using the Real Techniques brand blender sponges for months and loved them because originally I didn't want to fork out the $20 for one of the original Beauty Blenders. Well, as I was in my Sephora I decided to bite the bullet and not only get the original Beauty Blender sponge but also the mini Beauty Blender sponges for concealer. Y'ALL. When I tell you there is a DIFFERENCE in the quality of blending I get from my Beauty Blender.... it is unreal! The Real Techniques blender sponges work great as a cheaper alternative however the quality of the blending and distribution of foundation/concealer product that I get with the Beauty Blender is crazy amazing! I could rave about them night and day! I highly suggest if you have always been a strictly brush user for application (like I once was) give these a try!!! You will fall in love with the ease and overall perfect look you get when you use these!

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip color
I have been on the hunt for great lipstick for my entire life and the search is never ending so it should come as no surprise that I am constantly finding new favorite lipsticks! I have fallen in love with the new formulation that most brands have picked up called the liquid matte lipsticks. They are just so easy to apply and they last FOREVER on my lips and never seem to smudge or crack which I also like. I have recently bought about 4 different new lipsticks of various brands and formulations to try out and this one has been a stand out favorite! The color I went with was number 635 Passion. The applicator is flat on both sides which really makes the application process super easy and the color payoff is fantastic! I want to go back and buy numerous shades in this particular type of lipstick because I love it so much. I would 10/10 recommend if you are looking for a new lipstick to try. As always with liquid lipstick if you're new to using it just take your time and remember no one is perfect at applying liquid lipstick!

So, those are probably the biggest beauty favorites I have currently but I am planning on trying a few new and fun products that will be released for the holidays so get excited for a post all about reviewing new products!

Beyond makeup favorites I have just been loving a ton of broad stuff under what I would dub the "lifestyle" section of my life and boy have they really been something I have been obsessing over!

Erin Condren Life Planner
The BIGGEST favorite I have for lifestyle is definitely my Erin Condren Life Planner. If you have never used one of these before and you are someone like me who loves planners and organization you are in for a TREAT! This planner is 100% worth the money. I have been looking into getting one of these planners for months but due to my previous job I really didn't need one so I couldn't justify paying the $70 for one but now I have a new job (which I will post about in another blog soon I promise) and so it has really come in handy! If you have never heard of these planners they can be customized which is why I think everyone can enjoy and utilize it. You can choose whether you like your weeks to be horizontal day by day or vertical and you can choose if you want it to be put into tasking sections or strictly by day so it really works for everyone no matter how much stuff you have going on. If you are thinking about getting a new planner since this year is almost over I really recommend these! You can go to her website and check them out and if you decide to get something you can use this coupon code I was given! The code is WELCOME10 for $10 off your purchase!

Heathers the Musical
I am a huge musical buff and anyone that knows me can tell you that one of my passions in life is performing and specifically performing on stage in musicals so this I'm sure comes as no surprise. I have listened to this musical since it first came out in 2008 but the University I graduated from put on a production of Heather's the Musical in September and one of my friends was the choreographer and it rekindled my love for the musical. Whenever I get in the car I always put the cast album on and when I'm getting ready in the mornings I listen to it and I have basically had it on repeat for a month. The musical is based off of the cult classic movie from the 80's and if you have never seen the movie you definitely should watch it. Mean Girls was heavily influenced by this movie so you know it's worth the watch. I know for the original off-Broadway cast of Heather's there are some versions of it on YouTube if you wanted to search it and watch a few of the scenes but I am in love with the 80's aesthetic and it brings all of that together for me.

Fall Fashion
Okay so I know this is the broadest topic to have a favorite on but it IS something I have been loving! I have been LOVING the deep hues and tones of fall. I always love this time of year because all of the deep burgundy and hunter greens and winter grey and burnt orange colors of the fall begin populating clothing stores again. It is just now becoming cool enough in the deep south to start wearing layers and truly start enjoying the fashions of the season and I couldn't be more excited! I have been pulling out my boots and rummaging through my scarf drawer in anticipation of the weather getting cooler since August. If you have any new fall trends you are loving and you think I would love too please send them my way!

Needless to say I have been REALLY loving stuff and it honestly is probably because I love everything about fall weather and the season and time of year. Tell me something that you have been loving recently!

xoxo Jess

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why I Took A Blogging Hiatus

Hello my lovely readers!

Wow! It has been a while since I have written any blog posts! LIFE HAS BEEN NUTS! I have neglected this space for the better part of 7 months and I am happy to say that will not be the case any longer!

Sometimes as a blogger the pressure to post amazing content week after week becomes overwhelming with life and that's what happened with me. I was making lists of blog post ideas just to keep up content but none of them "spoke" to me. When I write a blog post I always want it to be something I want to share with you guys and not just a post I'm making to keep my content streaming. Being honest with y'all has always been my number one priority while giving you guys something interesting and fun to read while being true to myself which is why I decided to not post anything when my creativity well ran dry.

I am happy to say that I have really missed blogging and interacting with you lovely readers and I cannot wait to jump back in especially during the most festive time of the year!

I have so many wonderful things I want to share with you all and so manyof the products and activities that I have discovered over the last few months I feel are worth noting so my next post will be a favorites of sorts but instead of a monthly favorites it will be a "summer to fall transition" favorites so get excited!

Let me know something great that has happened in your life since summer in the comments!

xoxo Jess

Monday, May 30, 2016

Top five favorite things to do in Disney World's Magic Kingdom

I'm sure that many of you know that I am a Disney fanatic and if you don't know then where have you been?!

I took my first trip to the magical world of Disney in 2015 with my bestie Amber and I never looked back! I have been a total of 4 times now and I feel like I have developed my top 5 favorite things to do while in the Magic Kingdom and I wanted to share those with you today!

1. My absolute hands down number one favorite is watching Wishes. Wishes is the fireworks show that happens at Cinderella's castle every night. I cry and sing a long and any trip I go on to Disney I HAVE to see Wishes. There is just something so magical and Disney-esque about it and even when I'm not at Disney I will watch YouTube videos of the fireworks show because I just love it that much!

2. Ariel's Under the Sea ride. Even though Aurora is my favorite princess Ariel is my second favorite princess so I always have to find time to make it to this ride. I normally want to ride this one at least twice because the lines are usually never more than a 15 minute wait and being that Ariel is one of my favorite princesses I love being able to ride through the movie of The Little Mermaid!

3. Big Thunder Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster is, according to me, the best roller coaster at Disney's Magic Kingdom. It has the best turns and drops of any of the other rides in this particular park and the best spot to ride is is the back. When Daniel and I went for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween (Which you can read about here) there was no wait time, which is unusual, for this ride and we rode it 3 times in a row and it was awesome. Any time I am going I always reserve a fastpass for this ride because it is a very popular one with long wait times.

4. Meeting characters. Since I didn't start going to Disney World until my adult life I have had an anxiety about meeting characters for the first time and for the first few trips I made I was always terrified and didn't know what to say when meeting them. It was only this last trip I took, less than a month ago, that I really became comfortable with meeting characters and I started to enjoy it. During my last trip to Disney it rained a little bit towards the end of the day and so lines to meet characters were super short and I met a total of 8 characters in Magic Kingdom 5 of which I had never met before!

5. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This is the other roller coaster type ride in Disney's Magic Kingdom and I always use a fastpass for this ride because wait times are normally 60 plus minutes long. It is a fun ride but it is a more tame version of a roller coaster. I love being able to watch the dwarfs sing heigh-ho in the middle of the ride and see Snow White in the dwarves house at the end of the ride. It is a really quick ride but definitely one to do when at Magic Kingdom.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Disney's Magic Kingdom? Did I mention your favorite thing or ride? Let me know! Let's talk about all things Disney! Tweet me (@thejesslauren) or leave a comment!

xoxo Jess

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Experience at a Disney Broadway Open Casting Call

Hello my loves!

So I did something really exciting last weekend and I auditioned for the National Touring and Broadway casts of both Disney's Aladdin and Disney's The Lion King! Today I wanted to talk about my experience and also some tips I have if you ever want to audition for a casting director of a Broadway show!

Disney was holding an open casting call for adult singers and dancers and their team and casting agents were travelling to different cities around the U.S. The casting call I went to happened to be the last stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. The website said check ins went from 9-11 and audition duration was to be determined based on the amount of people who showed up.

I wanted to get their early to make sure I ended up somewhere around the beginning of the line and so I aimed to get there at 8:30 a.m. When I arrived there was already a line around the building outside so I was very nervous about the amount of people there but even just getting there was a huge accomplishment because I was SO nervous! I have done so many community theater shows and auditions but something about being in front of an agent who casts national touring shows and shows on Broadway was extra nerve wracking!

One thing that helped calm my nerves was talking to the people around me. I didn't go with any friends so that added the extra edge to my nerves but by making friends with the people around me I didn't feel so nervous and I felt better because they were all super nervous too. After standing there for about 10 minutes I heard someone say my name and there were two friends who I have done community theater shows with who were there too and it was such a nice and unexpected surprise! I ended up walking back to them and standing with them and it was so nice to have them there and it really helped to calm my nerves!

We were finally talked to by one of the people running the auditions and were told that because of the turn out our original amount of 16 bars of music was being cut down to 8 bars and that they were starting check in soon. This sparked panic among everyone who was auditioning because then you had to choose on the spot which half of your piece you wanted to choose. Which half was the better one to choose, which half was more impressive, etc. I am so glad I chose a song I have auditioned with before and that is in my repertoire of music I have so it was easy for me to choose.

We finally made our way around and were given numbers and I was number 102. We were then led inside to a holding room for everyone while we waited to be called in groups of 10. I ended up seeing 3 more people I knew when we were in there and it was nice to have people to catch up with while waiting.

Our group waited probably for a little less than 2 hours total before our numbers were called. We luckily had a friend who had auditioned in a group ahead of us so we sort of knew what to expect. We knew that we got to go in and audition one by one which was comforting. I auditioned for The Voice two years ago and in that audition you had to sing in front of everyone in your group and that was SO nerve wracking!!

I was the second one in my group to go in and I was expecting for there to be this huge panel of people but there were only two which eased my nerves. I handed the music to my accompanist and gave him my tempo and then just started. The whole of the audition lasted for maybe 20 seconds and then one of the directors said 'thank you so much Jessica' and that was it!

I knew going in I probably wasn't going to get a call back, not for lack of talent, but because my look probably wasn't the right fit for either Aladdin or The Lion King but even having the experience was so worth it!

Some tips for you for any big or small auditions that I have as a take away from this are:

-Bring your own water. There is no guarantee that there will be a water fountain or water anywhere and in this case there wasn't!

-Make sure you have a music resume and headshot. Even if you don't have much experience having any sort of experience you do have put on a resume is something they will want along with a headshot. I just went to Fed-Ex-Kinkos and got them to print mine on thick glossy card stock and it looks so professional.

-Put your music in a binder and make it easy for your accompanist to follow. Print out your music and hole punch it and mark where you want to begin and end your audition segment so that they clearly know where you want to start and end.

-Be comfortable with what you are performing. I chose a song I was very comfortable with so that when my nerves kicked in I wouldn't accidentally forget the words or melody.

- Bring something to keep your mind off of everything while you wait. Have a book or a favorite game you like to play on your phone. We all played Heads Up and it really helped get our minds off of everything.

-Be confident. Even if you are nervous out of your mind go into that audition room confident in your abilities. Remind yourself that it is less than a minute of your entire life and if performing is something you want to do the more auditions you go to the better at them you get.

I hope you guys enjoyed re-living my audition experience with me! If you have any audition experiences you want to share I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment or tweet me (@thejesslauren)!

xoxo Jess

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Favorites

Hello my beauties!

Today I wanted to talk about things I have been loving in the month of April! I can't believe it is already May and that another month has flown by! If you want to look at prices or purchase anything the links are embedded within each title! I have found an eclectic bunch of things to love this month so let's jump right in!

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

If you read my post about my favorite foundations (click here to read it if you missed it) then you will know that one of my favorite drugstore foundations has been the Maybelline Fit Me foundation! I have been grabbing this foundation just about every day and I have been loving the light buildable coverage it has offered me and it gives my skin a nice dewy glow that I have been enjoying for this warmer spring weather! It never feels heavy on my face and I think it is the perfect foundation for the spring and summer when I want to be a little less heavy handed with my makeup base.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

I own all three of the original Urban Decay Naked palettes and I usually find myself going through a rotation with them during the year and right now I am loving the original Naked palette! I have found myself going for Sidecar shadow all over my lid and then smudging Smog in the crease. Both colors have a bright metallic color but they blend together beautifully and just really bring out the green color of my eyes. Most brown shades tend to do that and I really have been loving this smokey eye look this month!

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

I have been LOVING this shampoo and conditioner! My bestie Amber and I discovered it on a Target shopping trip and it not only works great but it smells amazing! It smells like a beach day with coconut SPF except its shampoo and conditioner for your hair! This stuff is SO much more affordable than the other shampoo and conditioner I usually use and like I said it works great! I have been loving it this month and definitely plan on repurchasing it when I run out!

NuMe 25mm Curling Wand

I have found myself curling my hair pretty much every day this month. I got my NuMe curling wand on sale with an amazing discount code and I have been obsessed with it ever since it arrived! I have been growing my hair out to a slightly longer length (just above shoulder length) just to be able to curl my hair in loose waves because I think the style is really pretty and I have just wanted to be able to do it with my hair for so long and when I was able to snag this amazing curling wand on a discount I couldn't resist! I have fallen in love with the way my hair looks in this style and have been finding it hard to straighten my hair because I just want to have it curled all the time! I highly recommend this brand for any of their styling tools and just keep a look out for them to run a sale so you can snatch one up on an amazing discount too!

I have been obsessed with swing dresses for the majority of the last two months if I'm honest and I can't get enough of them! Most all of mine have come from American Eagle but the one in the link is the one pictured above. I love the way a swing dress is so flattering but also comfortable to wear. They look amazing but also don't take a lot of effort! I have enjoyed styling mine with a jean jacket for work and comfy flats or keds. These types of dresses can be easily dressed up or left casual and I have just been enjoying living in them! I have acquired about 5 swing dresses over the last 2 months and I can't wait to add more to my wardrobe for the summer time!

I have been obsessed with not only Blue Neighborhood but also Wild and all Troye Sivan discography. I have been listening to his music NON STOP. Any time I am in the car his albums are on and even now as I am writing this post I am listening to him. I have loved his music for a while but I have just been recently in love with it to the point of playing it non stop. If you haven't listened to his music before then you really need to! Listen to it on Spotify if you aren't sure you want to purchase but I promise you will listen to two songs and be hooked and want to buy and listen to it all!


I have been obsessed with snapchat and posting stuff to my story. I have loved snapchat since I downloaded it when it first came out but with the addition of many new snapchat face filters and trying to document more of my day I have been using it a lot more! It's a lot of snaps with my dog, rehearsals for the show I'm in, work, and my favorite music! I'm also in Disney when this post is going live so I will be snapping that the entire time I'm there as well if you wanted to follow along! :)

I have been loving a lot of stuff in April but these are definitely the most loved of all! What are some of the things you have loved over the month of April? Let me know by leaving a comment or tweet me (@thejesslauren)!

xoxo Jess

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Trends

Hello my beautiful readers!

Today we are going to delve into the wonderful world of fashion and some of the big trends that are here for spring and summer! I currently work in the retail fashion industry as a stylist for the store I work for and have been able to pick up first hand what some of the hot trends of the season are and I wanted to share them with you and also give some tips on how to style them for every day wear!

These trends are fun and flirty and perfect for the warmer weather and are perfect to pair with items that you already own in your current wardrobe.

The first trend I want to talk about is probably my favorite!

Tie Dye

Tie dye is BACK and better than ever and my 90's girl heart is squealing with glee.

This trend is fun and cute and can be utilized in many ways. By simply adding a few statement tie dye pieces to your wardrobe you can bring any outfit to life.
  •  Find your favorite pair of jeans or shorts and pair it with a cute tie dye tank and some birkenstocks (yes, those are back too!) and you have a comfy outfit that looks effortless and adds some fun to an otherwise normal day to day look. 

  • You can also incorporate the tie dye with some beautiful tie dye soft pants and a plain top 

  • or even wear a tie dye dress or romper and dress it up with a belt, accessories, and floppy hat. 

The possibilities for the tie dye trend are endless and there are so many ways to incorporate this look into your style this spring and summer!

The second trend I want to talk about is more about statement and I think it is something that will be a bold but beautiful fashion statement.

Bold Prints and Bright Patterns

One of the best things about each season to me is the additives of fun bold prints and this spring and summer are no exception!

Again, my 90's fashion heart is a BIG fan of this trend for the season and honestly, who doesn't want to live outside of the box every once and while right?

This is definitely a fun way to add some spice to your wardrobe! It doesn't have to be as out there as some patterns and colors are but simply adding some fun colors and patterns/prints to your wardrobe will liven everything up.

Great outfit ideas can be found with any pattern and print and it can even be something as fun as a fun shoe pattern to spice it up. 
  • Every good outfit can use floral patterns, that is a forever spring staple pattern that you can utilize in new ways such as adding it to your outfit with your shoes. One of my favorite ways to incorporate fun patterns and colors is by my shoes! It just gives a fun pop to an outfit!

  • Boho is another huge trend of 2016 and boho tops with a fun pattern are something you can put into your wardrobe this season as a staple piece!

  • Just picking a fun color palate on a classic favorite like stripes can add that hint of interest to your outfit.

With this trend you can choose to go big or take baby steps, either way it is a fun way to add some interest and brightness to your outfits!

The last trend I want to talk about is something that has emerged as a staple trend over the last year and it is something that I have found myself gravitating towards this spring 

Denim on Denim

Now, I'm not talking Britney and Justin circa 2001 VMAs, I'm talking styling chambray shirts with your favorite denim. It can be playing with different colored denim and even patterns!

  • One of my favorite ways to style this look is by utilizing a slightly western chambray top with a pair of your favorite skinny jeans or jeggings!

  • Another way to incorporate the denim on denim trend is by grabbing patterned chambray tops and pairing them with your favorite pair of colored denim jeans!
  • Another variation of the above outfit is pairing a plain chambray shirt with a pair of pastel colored jeans (one of my personal favorites!)

These are just a few of my favorite trends of spring and summer 2016 and a few of my favorite different ways to incorporate and style them into your wardrobe! I hope you have grabbed some amazing style and outfit inspiration from this and if you try one of these styles please tag me on twitter  (@thejesslauren) or instagram (@thejesslauren90) so I can see you rocking this seasons trends! 

xoxo Jess

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lessons I have learned from being an only child

80% of people in the U.S. have siblings so being an only child is something a vast majority of people will never understand or experience. I am one of the 20% who have no siblings and I wanted to just talk about some lessons I learned from being an only child.

The first thing is probably something you may not think of if you have a sibling and it's probably something you would have wished for when you were younger but it's how to be content being alone.

What I mean by this is, for most of your life you are alone with just yourself and your parents. You learn how to entertain yourself because your friends are not always going to be readily available to see you or do things with you like a sibling would, especially when you are younger. For me, it has helped me to develop maturity at an earlier age because the people you get most interaction with are adults. (This also means that if something happens, you have no one to blame except maybe the dog and I doubt your parents EVER bought that.)

I learned how to be social. I am driven by extroversion and being surrounded by people and I do think that has to do with being an only child.

I had to learn how to be social because I didn't have anyone else in my immediate family besides my parents so I learned how to be outgoing and I think that also carries into my adult life today. I was very shy when I was younger but I had to learn how to make and keep friends if I wanted to have anyone around my age to play with. Fast forward to today and I am very extroverted and love meeting new people and I make my friendships a priority because they are my non-related chosen siblings if you will. If you are an only child like me, this is probably #sorelatable. I know that one of my best friends (who is also an only child) feels the same way because we have had this conversation before and we feel like our closest friends are so special to us because we don't have anyone closer to us than them.

I think being an only child has shaped my personality. If you know me you would know that I love attention which I think is something most only children learn to love because when you are an only child you are constantly in the spot light. Any big life moment or birthday is celebrated and you are thrown into the middle of it by yourself with no one else to share the limelight with and I think that is why I was so shy when I was younger but as I have grown older I like being in front of people and speaking in public as well as meeting new people and I feel that comfort has come from being an only child.

While I am happy being an only child now there is always a part of me that wishes I could have had a sibling. When I was younger for every holiday or birthday I would always ask my parents for a brother or a sister. That is all that I wanted and I don't think that want will ever go away but it just wasn't in the cards for my family.

I'm sure if you had siblings when you were growing up you learned important lessons such as sharing at an early age and I'm sure you who have siblings are probably WAY better at sharing than I ever was because you had to do it in so many cases and probably still do.

I learned so much and still do from being someone who doesn't have any siblings but I think the biggest thing I take away from it is the care and love I have for everyone who is in my life, related or not.

Are you an only child or do you have siblings? What is something you feel like you have learned from dealing with the struggles of either? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @thejesslauren

xoxo Jess

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to get over a case of the Mondays

It is the beginning of a new week and you had so much fun this weekend and you just don't want to adult. You know it's a Monday. Monday's for me (the feeling not the actual week day) can even sometimes come on a Wednesday or even Thursday. We all hate when it feels as if the week is rushing towards us and we just want to stay on the couch in our PJs all week and watch Netflix.

Today I want to talk about some things I have started doing when I get that Monday feeling to chase those blues away.

1. The first thing is to set my sights on something other than the mountain of work/chores/life that I have in front of me and focus my attention on something exciting such as a planned event or even just planning out a nice quiet night on my own. I find that when I can think about something else it helps make my Monday better. If I have a fun night planned with a friend or if I have decided I am going to have a relaxing bath when I get home I always try and focus my attention on that when I begin to feel like I would rather just lay on the floor than do what needs to get done (I know you have had that feeling before too, don't lie).

2. Whenever I feel like I am going to have a total Monday blah feeling I normally know it the night before and so I try and combat that by planning to wear an outfit that I am loving for the day. I think about wearing my favorite pair of earrings or a dress I am loving and just wearing something that you feel beautiful and confident in can make you feel less blah and help makes that Monday feeling get a little bit smaller.

3. If my Monday seems to be absolutely dragging and I start to feel as if I just cannot go on (I know, a tad dramatic but you know the feeling I'm talking about) I will get myself a pick-me-up. Normally this involves stopping by a Starbucks and getting my caffeine fix but it could be something as simple as getting a piece of chocolate or taking a few minutes and watching a super funny video to get yourself out of the Monday funk. Whatever it may be, rewarding yourself for all the hard work you have already accomplished can help motivate you to finish out the day strong.

I hope these few ideas help you to be able to conquer your own Monday blues no matter when they may hit you.

xoxo Jess

Monday, March 28, 2016

March Favorites!

It's that time again for favorites! I have so many favorites this month to talk about! I have tried a few new things and also re-found some old things and fell in love with them all over again!

So let's hop to it!

Clothing Favorites

1     My number one favorite for clothes this month has got to be my blush pink tulle skirt! I have worn this skirt a few times  this month and I am in love with it! I love it so much I think I'm going to buy it in the other colors it is offered in! I always get compliments when I wear it and it makes me feel very princess-y and what girl doesn't love that! I think this skirt is going to be a great statement piece for spring for me! I bought it from Charlotte Russe and I will link you to it here: Tulle Skirt

2     My second clothing favorite happens to also be in the above picture and it is my platform wedges! I have also worn these numerous times and not only are they SO cute but they are super comfortable and easy to wear! I love that they can dress up any outfit but they aren't killer heels where I will be mentally screaming because I want to take them off! I got these shoes from American Eagle and I will link them to you here (they are also 40% off right now!): T-Strap Wedge Sandal

3     My third favorite clothing item this month is something that has really been a 2016 favorite and it is hair bows! I don't care what people say I always feel so much cuter when I am wearing a hair bow and I have SO many of them! I bought them from a friend so I don't have anywhere to really link you to it, but I'm sure Etsy has a TON of places you can buy hair bows from!

Moving on, I am now going to give you guys a few of my beauty favorites from this month!

Beauty Favorites

1     My first beauty favorite of this month is the Real Techniques blender sponge. I have wanted a blender sponge for months and I finally got one at the end of February and my life has been CHANGED! If you have never tried a beauty blender or blender sponge I urge you to give it a try because it makes my skin look like I have no foundation on it and I just somehow have perfectly smooth and beautiful skin! I got the two pack Real Techniques sponges and they were only $10.99 for a two pack which is honestly a great price! You can find those sponges here: Real Techniques Sponge
              Also pictured are a few of my favorite foundations, I did a blog post about a review of foundations and if you want to read about them you can click here: Foundation Review

2      My second beauty favorite has been a favorite of mine since 2014 but I have recently rediscovered them and fallen back in love and it is my Urban Decay Naked 1, 2 and 3 palettes! These palettes have been nothing but amazing since day one. I have only hit the pan on one shade in the Naked 2 palette after having them all for over a year and a half and all of the shades still apply smoothly and blend amazingly. They really do suite any and all occasions and I often find myself switching interchangeably between them all throughout the year. You can find all of them linked here: Urban Decay Palettes

3     My last beauty favorite is also something that I have had in my beauty collection for a while and recently rediscovered! They are the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks! These lipsticks are long lasting, great color payoff, and just gorgeous all for a super cheap price! My two favorite colors are 104 and 10. The 104 is a nude shade that perfectly matches my natural lip color and the 10 is a beautiful bright red lipstick! These lipsticks are linked here: Rimmel 104 Rimmel 10

The last few favorites I have are random miscellaneous favorites!

Miscellaneous Favorites 

1     The first random favorite I have is Emergen-C. My friend Sarah introduced me to this because I have horrible allergies and take allergy medicine every day but still somehow end up with sinus infections! I have been taking this every day and it has really helped not only my immune system but it also helps my energy levels! I use the super orange flavor in powder form and its like drinking a glass of orang juice every day! Emergen-C is linked here: Emergen- C

2     My last random favorite is a food favorite which is the rising moon organic butternut squash ravioli. I have loved these since I discovered them last year but I have recently been finding myself re-buying them more and more because they are delicious! Not only are they organic but they are also vegan! You can find them at Publix in the freezer section and oh boy are they yummy! They cook in literally 8 minutes and taste so good! I highly recommend them! Ravioli linked here: Butternut Squash Ravioli

These are just a few of the most favorite things I have been loving this month! If you have any favorites tweet me (@thejesslauren)  and let me know what you have been loving this month!

xoxo Jess