Milan, Italy | Photo Diary

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The moment when I realized I’d left my cell phone on the table was a moment that was full of emotion–first silently and then loud. Profanities bounced off the walls of our tiny AirBNB apartment as I paced and retraced my steps of the afternoon in my brain.

Finally after going through my mental rolodex of curses, I determined that the only place it could possibly be was at the tavern with the slightly-too-sweet tiramisu. We were all the way back across town in our apartment and for a moment I thought “I can do this trip without my phone.” Then reality swung a punch and I realized “no, you absolutely cannot you fool.”

With a pit in my stomach and eyes to the ground I saw the pavement blur by as began to run (with little to no dignity or faith and a shortage of breath) to where I hoped my phone still remained.  Back down into the metro I’d go, barreling onto the train and then back off again; speed walking under the shade of the duomo, across the piazza, down the narrow alleys and finally stumbling into the kitchen of the tavern.

I probably could’ve come across less panicked (it probably seemed like I’d left my child there) but the servers understood, even through my broken Italian, what was going on. After the longest two minutes of my life, the owner finished his phone call, reached behind the counter and handed it to me with a smile. I have never been so happy in my life. Bless you sweet, sweet Italian man. May you be forever blessed with lots of happy customers to your restaurant of checkered tablecloths and delicious lasagna. Please take care of your bee problem on the patio. Sincerely, Lauren.

There will never come a day when Italy does not hold a special place in my heart. Since my first visit there in 2011 I’ve known that the Italian lifestyle is one I can get behind. Schedules are more relaxed, there’s always pizza (or calzones), sentences sound like songs rather than statements, being surrounded by centuries old architectures with one million stories to imagine, dinners that run late into the night, wine continually flowing and.. the men. The Italian men, ya’ll. My kryp-to-nite.

 

And next time I’m in Italy? The south. I’m aching to see the Amalfi coast, Sardinia, and the secret panini places hidden in alleys in the smallest towns. They’re always the best.

Speak to you soon!

 

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Countdown (On moving to Seattle) | Monday Playlist

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I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I moved into my house in Nashville.  I can’t believe it’s already been five years since I moved away from my home state of Arkansas to start a completely new chapter of life that has shaped me more than I can explain. College, friends, people who introduced me to hot chicken.. it’s been a doozy. Although this won’t be my sappy “I’m going to miss you Nashville,” post  you can rest assured that one will be coming at some point in the next few weeks. Why? I’ll tell you.

For those of you who don’t know, in a few weeks I’ll be uprooting from this amazing town I’ve been calling home and relocating to the pacific northwest. Seattle! There are a lot of things on the horizon for me and it’s just a move I know I need and want to make. It’s certainly not that I’m hot happy in Nashville, I love it here; Everything just fell into place so quickly and seamlessly and there has never been better time for relocating. I’m so excited for a new wind of creativity and inspiration; a regular diet of coffee and poutine (thanks canada); and new people and experiences that await me.

Before I get there, though, I’ve got a trip to the beach in two weeks and a trip to europe in a month. This playlist is called countdown for more reasons that I can even explain. So here it is! Monday playlist: Countdown.
 

 
Speak to you soon!

 

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Saturday Morning Mood Board

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Just a few things that have caught my attention this morning:

1. Got the beach on my brain. The coastal color scheme and the easiness of this composition are making me ache for the breaking waves and days spent with my feet in the sand.
2. Calligraphy numbers always deserve to be on a mood board, especially when they are as charming as this.
3. Cherries have been my summer fruit craving this year, closely followed by red currants and watermelon. (Allllll of the watermelon).
4. Gold leaf + script font + words to live by
5. Does it get better than a glamourous metallic jumpsuit?
6. Loving the style of this illustration of the flat iron building. Miss you, New York.
7. The lines that the tile creates all over this room are so pleasing to my eye. Anything with a grid pattern is a friend of mine.

Speak to you soon!

 

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9 | Monday Playlist


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It’s Monday again and that means it’s new music day again! Making these playlists is something I genuinely look forward to because not only do I get to show you guys (potentially) new bands, but I get to seek some out for myself. I usually try out the playlist for a week before I launch it live on here, and this one is no exception. In fact, based on that one week trial, this one may be one of my favorite one’s I’ve ever published. (That may or may not be based solely on the fact that Ryan Gosling’s band is the first track. I’m serious. Google “Dead Man’s Bones.”)

(…Also be careful googling that because your results might be weird).

It’s officially the second week of July, so here’s to nearing the dog days of summer.  I wish that meant:

A) Free puppies!
B) There is no other choice!

But what it means instead is that things are about to get a little toasty here in the southern United States. Now would be a great time to start hydrating, allowing yourself more time than normal to walk places, getting milkshakes more frequently and warning your friends that it’s hot so you’ll be reaching “hangry”* status more quickly than normal.

*hangry: hane•gry, adj- being so hungry that you are visibly upset. “Lauren had to wait to sit down at the pizza restaurant for dinner, and impatiently watching everyone else crunch their piping hot crust made her hangry.”

Here’s this weeks playlist! Stay cool! (Literally)

 
 

Speak to you soon!

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Sunday Inspo | A Note on Patience

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A little inspiration for the beginning of a new week. I know, for me, this is may be a little bit of a challenging one. Why? Because patience is hard. Patience is one of those things that’s easier said than done in almost any situation, but it’s also one of those things where I have to drop my hands because I am not in control. Why worry about something that you can’t do anything about until you can, right?

Hang on tight this week. Remember that whatever you’re waiting on is worth the wait.

10 ways to distract yourself from the waiting game:
1. Put on your jogging shoes and go out the door before you have a chance to change your mind. I know from experience that just going on a brief (and still struggle filled) run around your neighborhood can help to put things into perspective…or at least help you focus on how awful the hill you’re about to run up is (*life metaphor, am I right?!?*). Spoiler alert: you are going to make it to the top. Promise.

2. Drive. Go anywhere. Blast your favorite music,  blast Coldplay’s new album (or Ed Sheeran if you’re into that kind of thing) and watch your city roll on by. And SANG. Loud. Who cares who’s next to you at the stoplight (unless it’s that person you smiled at, at the bar last weekend…then you cool it).

3. Find yourself a snow cone. There is nothing that a snow cone on a hot day can’t help. (If you live in Nashville figure out where Retro Sno is because it will not only change your day IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE OKAY?

4. Say yes to things this week. I know that I’m really guilty of holing myself up in my room and shutting down when I’m stressed out, but I’ve found that if you actually LEAVE your room (aka the center of all stress) then you will be able to breathe a lot easier.

5. Make a to do list and check thangs off. Getting things done always makes me feel a sense of accomplishment and makes any stress I have seem a lot less daunting.

6. Pizza.

7. Fill up your schedule so you don’t have time to think about whatever it is you can’t stop thinking about.

8. Laugh as much as you can; watch a funny movie, binge on buzzfeed, hunt down the next big youtube sensation, cruise the internet for comedy gold…I swear it helps. I make a point to spend some time on my favorite funny websites before bed most nights. Laughing relaxes you and makes your brain feel 100 times better. Or call me because I’m hilar.

9. Plan something really great for what happens after you know you’re going to find out about whatever it is you’re waiting on. That way you’re looking forward to something and not dreading it.

10. Pizza. (Needed to reinforce how important this step is. Ask for ranch.)

 

 

Speak to you soon!

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Charleston via Iphone | Photo Diary

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1. My first impression of Isle of Palm was surreal. After being on the road all day ALL I wanted was the sand and the surf. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the salty air was the elixir that would get me through the rest of day.

2. Brunch at Toast! Of Charleston. I went to Toast twice; the first time offhandedly and the second was planned. My first trip there I was there during Sunday brunch. After doing a quick sweep of the menu I decided on a mimosa and a dish called Eggs on Meeting Street: a poached egg perched on top of a crab cake and a fried green tomato with remoulade and the most pillowy biscuit I’ve ever eaten…divine, okay? The company at Toast wasn’t bad either.

3. There was tile work everywhere in Charleston, especially on Kingstreet. Talk about a city with attention to detail.

4. Because, once again, I could not get enough of the beach. One of the best parts of the trip was just grabbing a quick picnic at whole foods and camping out on the sand until the sun went down. People watching was on point–but mostly I was excited about the puppy watching.

5. Black Tap coffee was entirely too charming and delicious. An iced coffee there was the perfect break to walking around in the hot sun all day (and also a break from a chapter in the story called: I locked my keys in my car. Woops).

6. Breakfast in bed because the berries were too vibrant not to capture.

7. Sunny flowers on rainy days.

8. My trip down to Charleston was a self proclaimed #coffeeroadtrip. I stopped at a stop in Chattanooga and a shop in Atlanta. The shop in Atlanta was called Octane and it was by far the smoothest cup of Ethiopian coffee I have ever had. Octane is a café and a bar, so needless to say I can’t think of any better place to be watching the World Cup right now.

9. I could’ve strolled down King Street alllllll day. And I did. And I got a really unappealing sunburn (pun intended)…(the pun is always intended you guys).

10. Another shot of the sunset over the sea at Isle of Palm. Perfection.

11. Milk and Honey was the other shop I stopped at on my way to Charleston. Before I had even gone inside I was in love. How can you deny such a cute store front? The inside was just as charming with the same honeycomb tiling and beautiful typography all over the walls. I’m crushing haaard on their branding. (And also their honey latte was the sweetest of treats).

12. Being on the beach alone was never lonely. No, it was really introspective for the most part. Just taking time to really absorb how the waves work and and massive it all is. It’s crazy. I recommend taking a personal moment or ten by the waves some time. You’ll get more sorting out done in your brain that you bargain for.

All of these photos were from my instagram which you can follow at @lacunningham!

I also updated my personal portfolio today and I would love for you to go take a look!

 

Speak to you soon

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Weekend in the Woods

R&R | Summer Camping Essentials, via Red Lips + Tortilla ChipsWeekend in the Woods

 

Early tomorrow morning I’ll be loading up in a car with two of my dearest friends to escape the world for a few days. We’re headed to West Virginia for a weekend of hiking, swimming, star gazing and cabin-living.

I’m most excited about this trip because there isn’t any option but to be off the grid for a little while. Having a job that is centered around the internet means I am literally a l w a y s on my computer; or on my phone; or finding some tinfoil to make an antenna to check my email when there’s no 3G. But not this weekend. This weekend we’re stepping away from it all.

I’m taking my camera to capture the scenery (and the ridiculousness), but I’m hoping the next few days will be a big moment that we’ll just be living in. What I mean by that is instead of being consumed with the things we can take away from the trip on our phones or our memory cards we’ll be consumed with being with each other and making actual memories instead of virtual ones. I think it can be hard to do that in 2014, but I’m determined that this weekend will be full of them.

I’ll be excited to show you guys the moments I do capture. And don’t worry, as I’m sure you know, there will be plenty.

Exciting travel news when I get back! Speak to you soon!

 

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