DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Lauren of Kelly + Olive

laurenkellyandoliveRemember last week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviewee, Courtney from Kelly + Olive? This week’s interviewee is Lauren, Courtney’s partner-in-crime business. If you have been following their blog, you are probably as smitten with their design ideas as I am.

In fact, since both Lauren and Courtney live in Chicago(!!) there are all kinds of similarities between us beyond our creativity, love of design, and entrepreneurship. Not to mention I totally know what Lauren is talking about in her “love myself as I am” intention, below. Been there, done that. She’s totally right: if we can’t be satisfied during a Chicago summer, there is no hope for our lonely souls.

Enjoy her intentions and find your everyday happiness!

dive in.

i’m not sure how i ended up here. i moved to chicago from virginia, having only visited the city once…and that was after i had committed to the move. now i have a small business…which i had vaguely dreamed of, but never imagined i would have the guts to go through with. so how did all this happen…? generally i’m a cautious person…i don’t ride motorcycles, drink moonshine or pet strange dogs. so for these things…the big things, the things i know are right but are risky or frightening in some way, it seems best to just dive in. i can’t over think or i’ll talk myself out of a good thing. besides… once you’re in the water, you can make it work.

love myself as i am.

laurenlovemyselfsometimes, i look at old pictures and think…look how thin i was! and my hair looks awesome! i was so cute. now i’m just a mess. but starting tomorrow, i’m going to get it together! i’m going to get in shape! i’ll cook delicious organic homemade meals. i’ll start dressing like better and then i’ll be more popular…and successful…and happy!

now…i’m all about nostalgia for the past… and it’s important to be hopeful for the future, but really, at the time those pictures were taken…i probably thought i was the ugliest, fattest, loser around. and i’m not going to become a whole different person in a snap tomorrow. if i can’t appreciate what i have today… my body, whatever it’s flaws, the fact that i have a job and can feed myself even if it’s lean cuisine, a growing business, the city in the summertime…if i can’t find joy in those things and love myself as i am each day… i will never be satisfied.

everyday happiness.

shiny red toenails. soda in glass bottles. internet videos of cats doing hilarious things.  a windowsill herb garden. waking without an alarm.  ikea. cereal. singing show tunes while driving. colored tights. the way books smell. a good black rollerball pen. thrift stores. magazines. drinking beer while sitting in grass.

enjoy some silence.

there are entire days…weeks!…that i spend without a moment of silence. before i get out of bed, i turn on the radio… then it’s ipod on the train, music at work, tv at home.  i’m a bit of an npr junkie and a news nerd. oh…and lost! and gossip girl…hgtv and rachel maddow! how can i resist all this easily accessible entertainment! plus, a lot of times i use tv or radio noise as company. if i’m home alone, it feels better to have some noise buzzing around. but yesterday…i decided to eat dinner at the dining room table…in silence. the roommates weren’t home. no tv on. no radio. no magazines to flip through. i was feeling really stressed…frantic, fuzzy-brained and grumpy. i thought it might help. it’s funny how uncomfortable i was. i don’t remember the last time i did one thing at a time. in the end, it was really nice. i could totally space out and let my thoughts wander. after dinner, i felt totally relaxed. i did some laundry, worked out…did a bunch of kelly + olive work…usually i just lay on the couch with my laptop on my stomach and the tv in the background until it’s time to go to bed. so now i’ve decided…i will give myself 20 minutes when i get home from work of silence and nothing to turn off my brain for a while and recharge..

listen to my body…it’s talking.

eat when you’re hungry. sleep when you’re tired. why is that so hard?

keep in touch.

laruenandsistercourtney and i are still friends because we both suffer from the same minor social flaw…we are bad at keeping in touch. we went to two different colleges and we talked maybe 6 times in those 4 years. then, when we reunited…we picked right back up like it never happened.

that’s not fair though…it doesn’t work that way with most people i care about. my closest college pals…all live on the east coast. my parents…my little sister, who is about to burst she’s so pregnant right now…live on the east coast. if i want them as a part of my life, not as a part of my past but as part of every day…i need to be better about communication and contact. i want my forthcoming niece to know her aunt lauren…not just because she sends awesome presents…but because she’s an active part of her life. so people…if any of you are reading this, i hereby make this mid-year resolution…i will contact you on your birthday with more than a facebook message, i will call to chat more often than i will text. and who doesn’t love random mail! that’s what funny postcards are for!


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  1. I always love these design your life real people interviews!
    Keep’em coming – they are so fun!
    pve

  2. VaCousin

    We love you Lauren! Keep making those dreams a reality 🙂

  3. Jill

    fun interview as always… I am still constantly working on being happy in the “here and now” seems so simple, but always a challenge!

  4. Jess

    @ PVE: Sounds good to me, I will keep ’em coming!

    @ VaCousin: I can’t wait to meet Lauren, thanks for supporting her!

    @ Jill and Rachel: I totally agree.

  5. Eva

    Love these! Always inspiring! Like a breath of fresh air!

  6. Jess

    @ Eva: Glad you liked it! This week’s is going to be written by Tim, the Giveaway Giveaway winner. Stay tuned…

  7. Lauren forgot to mention that she is also one of those girls who is just really cool without trying. Thought ya’ll should know.

  8. This is an astonishing entry. Thank you very much for the supreme post provided! I was looking for this entry for a long time, but I wasn

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