New Season, New Life, New BLOG //

Hi, everyone! I am excited to announce that I have a new website! I am going to copy my newest blog post down below to explain the changes for all of my current followers. I am so thankful for all who have supported this blog, you all are amazing! I hope that you will continue to join me in this new chapter of my journey. Head on over and check out the new website; Alyssa Lauren Blog. Don’t forget to subscribe for updates! xo

I am so very excited to be launching my new blog today! I was planning on launching in a week or so, but I thought, what better of a time to talk about new seasons than the first day of September? Autumn begins this month and it is by far my favorite season. Leaves changing pretty colors and falling from trees, a chill in the air and pumpkin spicedeverything! This quote from Christine Caine reminds me of this season, “God prunes us when He is about to take us into a new season of growth and expansion.” This statement has proved true so many times in my life. I have had to say goodbye to friendships that weren’t allowing me to grow and quit a good job making decent money that was consuming too much of my time and energy.

For this reason, I have decided to start fresh by creating a new blog. Although I have had a good following on my last website, I wasn’t very committed. I was often distracted and would go months between posts. This is a way for me to begin with a clean slate and see what God wants to do through this blog. I didn’t have a very clear direction before and I believe that is what was holding me back. I have also struggled with the idea of fashion posts for quite some time. I wondered if it was too self-centered as a Christian woman to post photos of what I’m wearing each day. However; The Lord confirmed that this was not true for me in a few ways. Young girls are going to look to someone as an example for fashion advice and if there aren’t many Christian role models, they will look to the media and what the world says is cute and trendy. He has also shown me that it is good for women to feel confident in who they are, and we have that confidence when we are well dressed. With that being said, I will be focusing more on fashion blogging than before. This blog will also be a platform to share my faith and anything that has been resonating in my heart.

Along with this new season…we are expecting new life! Yes, we are pregnant! Our little miracle will be making a debut in February and we couldn’t be more excited! I believe that this is a time for new life physically and spiritually. God is so good and we are extremely blessed that He has chosen us to raise this precious child.

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Be sure to subscribe to this new blog to receive daily updates on our growing family and more! I am ready to embrace this new journey and so happy to have you joining alongside me.

xo, Alyssa

Boyfriend Blazer //

This boyfriend blazer from Shop Tobi is one of my favorite pieces! If you do not own one, you must get one! They are the perfect piece to be worn casually or a little bit more dressed up. I also LOVE these shoes. The burgundy color is so gorgeous. To be completely honest, this is how I pretty much dress on a daily basis. I like to look somewhat put together with minimal effort- but what girl doesn’t?

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Shirt: ASOS | Blazer: Shop Tobi | Jeans: Abercrombie | Purse: Kate Spade | Shoes: Windsor

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Braids and Wellies //

Hello, Lovelies! It’s been a while! A lot has changed in my life lately, so I’ve been pretty distracted. I’ll give a quick update and write a more detailed post soon.

I have recently started up a couple of different businesses. It is so great to be able to finally do the things that I love full time. I am working on my portfolio for my new photography business, as well as repurposing furniture. I buy old, antique furniture from estate sales and auctions and bring them back to life. I am working on a rather large project right now and it has been such a blast! I will link my Etsy shop to my blog shortly.

Aside from these jobs, I have been getting involved with some pretty incredible organizations. I can’t really go into detail about this one, but I am working with a few groups to rescue women who are being trafficked or are trying to escape the sex industry. I will also be working with young girls in juvenile detention centers, mentoring them and showing them their priceless value. These are some pretty intense ministries and your prayers will be greatly appreciated, for both myself and the precious women I will be working with.

This mini photo shoot was pretty spur of the moment. I recently bought these Hunter Wellington boots and can I just say how much I love them?! They are so comfy and so perfect for this crazy Florida weather we have been getting lately. I actually bought them for an upcoming trip to New York, but couldn’t resist wearing them sooner!

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Bellus Threads //

It’s fall, ya’ll! We have finally been getting some beautiful weather here in Florida the past few days. It has been around 60 degrees during the day and down to 40 degrees at night. I am really hoping that it will stick around for the rest of the year!

A beautiful friend of mine recently gave me the CUTEST winter accessories. She is so gifted in so many ways and crocheting is just one of her many talents! I am absolutely in love with the boot cuffs and the scarf that she made me. I have an obsession with scarves and this one is just so cozy without being overbearing- it’s perfect! I have also been looking for a pair of neutral colored boot cuffs for this year, so I was so excited to receive these. They have gotten many compliments, too! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop, Bellus Threads. There are so many neat items that you can purchase and she even takes custom orders which would make great Christmas gifts!

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Top: Us Trendy | Jeans: Rock Revival | Scarf and Boot Cuffs: Bellus Threads | Boots: Steve Madden (Similar)

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Golden Tote //

I decided to do another outfit post before it gets chilly out. Of course we only have about two weeks a year of cool weather here in Florida, but I like to dress for fall, even if it’s still warm!

I have found God’s gift to women…it is called ‘Golden Tote‘. On this website, you can choose from a couple of different options. You will fill out a style profile and answer some questions. They have a tote for $49 with 2-3 items; you choose one item yourself and the other is a surprise they choose for you. Another tote is $149; you choose 2 items and they will send you 4-5 surprise items. Golden Tote also has a boutique online for those that choose to take the less daring route. All of their clothing is great quality and a good selection is also sold at Anthropology, but at a fraction of the cost through Golden Tote. Check it out! But beware, it’s addicting!

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Fedora: Melissa Odabash | Purse: Steve Madden | Dress: Golden Tote (Out of stock- can be purchased here) | Shoes: BCBG (Similar) | Watch: Michael Kors

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Oh Hey What’s Up Man? //

Oh hey! What’s up, man?! Glad you’re here! I wanted to do a collaboration with someone I know personally. I think it is so neat when we can all come together to support and encourage our friends and those that share similar passions and dreams as we do. In this post, I wanted to feature my friend Harvey Soto. This dude is pretty spectacular! He shares the same love for music and sharing the gospel as I do. He doesn’t feel the need to say and do certain things to fit the standards of others and he practices what he preaches. All of his songs are a true reflection of the way that he lives and his desire for others to know the meaning of their life. Check him out and show some love! His messages need to be heard, they could change someone’s life.

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Shirt: Harvey Soto | Leggings: Cotton On | Shoes: Steven | Bracelet: Vera Wang | Necklace: Inspirational Bling

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Art Feeds Collaboration //

Hello, Beauties! I was contacted by Art Feeds to do a collaboration post. This great organization provides free therapeutic art and creative education programs to thousands of children. Art Feeds sent me this adorable shirt to help spread the word of the amazing things they are doing.

This shirt is literally the softest t-shirt I have ever owned and I love what it says! ‘Create: it makes your soul grow’. This statement couldn’t be any truer and it’s a great way to start a conversation about the Art Feeds organization and spread the word to our communities.

This is an excerpt from the Art Feeds website on how it all started:

” Art Feeds began in one classroom with one child- a little boy who wasn’t being fed at home and who was not only lethargic & struggling with academics but also had incredibly low self-esteem. As Meg began doing art lessons with him, he showed tremendous progress through expression; art was feeding him in a way that was just as essential as food.

The art lessons quickly grew from just him to more classrooms and more children. So in order to fund the supplies she needed, Meg printed and sold shirts that featured “Art Feeds” and a blank written by that original little boy, paired with his handprint, which ended up with a heart in the middle and later became the Art Feeds logo. The blank was open for the buyer to fill in with whatever “Art Feeds” for them. The simple t-shirt project grew far beyond expectations and the story of this little boy spread as did the impact and reach of Art Feeds programs.

The story of this little boy is now the story of thousands of Art Feeds students who have together had the realization “What I’m creating has worth, therefore I have worth.” ”

Read more about Art Feeds and support therapeutic art by purchsing some of their cute merchandise!

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Shirt: Art Feeds | Jeans: H&M | Shoes: Guess

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Taking My Own Advice //

Hello, beauties! It’s been a while…

I am going to get a little personal here and lay it all out on the table. After all, that’s what this blog is for, right?

I’ve been pretty miserable lately and haven’t done anything about it other than complain. If you were to ask me how my day was, how work is going or what I’ve been up to, chances are, you’d get a grunt and a frustrated giggle as a response. For the last two years, this has been my immediate response to those questions and it hasn’t really hit me until recently.

Before I go into more detail, I really want to clarify something. I realize that I am absolutely blessed to have the job that I do. I am able to pay my bills, live comfortably, I have a steady schedule, benefits, etc. I know that it is very difficult for people to find jobs these days, especially one that is stable. I was having a difficult time looking for a good full-time job before I got married and felt nearly hopeless after searching for so long. But God provided as He always does and gave me an incredible opportunity. I do not, DO NOT whine and complain while I am at work. I am actually known for my positive and cheerful attitude and I work as hard and as efficiently as I can, because I know that this job is a blessing and I am so thankful for it!

You see, I have known for a very, very long time that I would someday be in full time ministry. Over the last couple of years, The Lord has been revealing to me more what that will look like. It’s such a beautiful thing to know your calling and purpose. Although we do not always know exactly what it entails or how and when we will get there, there is still beauty in the mystery.

There is something so incredible about trusting God completely with your life. We tend to think that just by calling ourselves believers, tithing regularly and going to church, we are fully trusting in The Lord. Our lives are so much more than that. How about trusting Him when He says to pack up and move to another country? Or to quit our high paying jobs and to go into ministry full-time? When He tells you to adopt a child? Or when He says to buy that homeless man dinner and a hotel room for the night?

So often we ignore the things God is calling us to do. We are either afraid of the unknown or are unsure of whether or not we are really hearing The Lord’s voice (it will never contradict the Word of God). The more often we ignore these things, the more numb we become to hearing and recognizing His voice altogether. God is always wanting to give us opportunities to spread His love, if only we are willing. We may have the most amazing dreams and callings, but it’s up to us to make it become our reality.

Lately, I realized that I have not been taking my own advice. I encourage others to pursue their dreams and to take even the smallest steps in that direction so that they don’t remain stagnant. I am a firm believer that God opens doors for us and gives us opportunities. But I also believe that we have free will and that He doesn’t always push us through those open doors. Sometimes we have to do these things ourselves, we have to want it.

For the last several months, I have been hearing The Lord loud and clear, telling me to move forward. It’s up to me to take the next step. Nothing is going to change in my life if I don’t decide to listen and follow His voice. One of my greatest fears is not even moving backward in my walk, but standing still. No longer hearing His voice and even losing the desire to pursue the dream He has given me.

The reason I have been so down isn’t because I am ungrateful, but rather unfulfilled. My heart is literally exploding with love for young women all over the world and I am sitting here in an office. Staring at a computer. Typing in random codes. All. Day. Long. For the last three years. It’s so difficult for me to be in here when I know I am meant to be out there and there are millions of women that need to be reached and God has appointed me as the one to reach them.

I realize that it’s not going to all unfold perfectly over night, but I am willing to take a step. A big one. I am currently seeking any job opportunities in that field. Rap houses, halfway homes, youth programs, delinquent facilities, etc. Even if they are only hiring for something as small as a receptionist position. Anything that could get me moving in that direction is better than nothing.

Please keep me in your prayers during this new season I am entering. It is crazy, stressful, exciting, scary and beautiful all at once.

Don’t sit around unfulfilled, watching others doing God’s work when you were created to join them. Be a vessel! Listen to the voice of The Lord and do what He says! Your life will be so much more exciting and adventurous than you could ever make it on your own. It won’t always be easy, but I promise it will be worth it!

xx,

Alyssa

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Eat, Sleep, Explore, Repeat //

It has been about a month since our anniversary trip now, and I have finally had an opportunity to share some pictures on the blog! Better late than never, right? We drove down to Miami and took a 7 night cruise through the Caribbean. Excuse the horrible phone quality, I will upload some other pictures from my real camera in a few days.

Our first stop was in Philipsburg, St. Maarten! It was absolutely breathtaking. Nothing makes my heart pitter-patter more than the beauty of the hills AND beaches! We raced a legitimate sailboat and it was so much fun. I am now a huge fan of sailing! Afterward, we walked around the town to visit the little shops and eateries.2014-05-24-21-52-32

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Our next port was in St. Amalie, St. Thomas. It looked a lot like St. Maarten, so I was still in love with the scenery. We took a cab to Coki beach. We were a little hesitant at first, because no one else was wanting to ride with us to that particular beach. It turned out to be so beautiful and relaxing! They had a cute little restaurant, snorkeling, paddle boarding and even scuba diving lessons!

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Our last port was Nassau, Bahamas. I had been there maybe 5 times prior to our cruise, so I wasn’t as excited to explore the island. We decided last minute to sign up for an excursion. We took a boat out to sea and did some snorkeling and kayaking in a glass-bottom kayak. It was very relaxed and laid back but we still really enjoyed our time.

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Our whole vacation pretty much consisted of napping, eating, sun bathing and exploring. It was such a great time and I am so glad we decided to cruise. I can’t believe it has already been two years! I am already planning next years anniversary trip. I’m thinking either France or Italy! What do you guys think?!

 

xx,

Alyssa

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