Love Life.

Lately, it seems like everyone wants to escape this beautiful thing called life. I think at one point we have all felt frustrations pull us in the direction of misery. There is so much solace in discomfort. It comes almost too naturally. We are human, raw and unforgiven. We ache so deeply, it’s hard to remember how many choices we have. When we can’t live up to the personas we have built, who are we?

A lot has changed over the past year. Sometimes, time slows down completely. Other times, it goes so fast I’m not sure where I am anymore. In my dreams you told me, “keep going”. I woke up feeling lost, but my feet still put me on the ground. My birthday is your memorial. One day short of a different life. Sometimes, I still think I see you in a crowded room. But I am so much different than I used to be.

As I get older I am becoming at peace with uncertainty. I see the past in nuances and letters. We are pronouns and poems that fill up folders on my desk. I am learning how to be firm, bold, stern, walk away, take a breath, and let it go. I still believe everything happens for a reason, but only we can create the life we want. The big picture never really appealed to me. There’s so much more to time. It’s the first step I take out the door in the morning. The subtle breeze on my fingertips. Hearing a new song for the first time. The lyrics in a hook that can change your life. Static on a car seat parked out on an empty street. The smile emoji. A new adventure. Another year. Another new day.

Behind The Laptop

Being a blogger has its perks. It also has many, many frustrations. The job also entails reminding clients what their goal is. Reminding clients what SEO really is. Reminding clients they need to pay you. Reminding clients you need topics. Reminding clients you need photos. Sometimes, I feel like I need a to-do list for my to-do list.

Ketchum Workspace

I’ve been a writing chameleon for the past ten years. Shape-shifting from rug descriptions, how-to articles, hair and make-up, wedding planning, photography, and anything in between. I love creating my own schedule and being able to tell people “Yeah, I get paid to write!”. I’m excited to announce two new clients I will be writing for: Alison Marie Photography and KiSSandMaKeUp!

You will also be able to follow my wedding planning (personal & professional) as I step into my new role as Event Producer in addition to Blogger at the newly revamped Lauren O & Co. My blog series Blogger to Bride will highlight the obstacles and triumphs of planning my Puerto Rico destination wedding from a wedding planner’s perspective!


Surprisingly enough, freelancing doesn’t always leave a lot of personal blogging time. My goal for 2018 is a creative overhaul. Taking my own advice, this blog will be the start of many featuring blogging tips, events, client features, and so much more.

I’m so excited for what the 2018 has to bring. What are your resolutions?


Standing Apart in the Writing Industry | Freelancer’s Perspective

Becoming a seasoned writer takes years of experience. After years of schooling, workshops, unpaid internships, and cheap gigs making a fraction of a cent per word, only the strongest spirit can withstand the crushing efforts of the writing industry. It is even more difficult now than ever, with worldwide access to the internet, blogs and social media carve out a niche of self-proclaimed writers with no formal education on the subject.

How do you stand apart as a writing professional when surrounded by writing hobbyists?

Writing In The Social Media Era

You can expect me to say it isn’t easy, and that’s only half true. If you have a true passion for writing and are willing to cover nearly any topic, there are plenty of clients seeking content for their website, blog, or advertising. The first feeling you may have is that you aren’t writing about what you’re passionate about – that’s what your personal blog is for. My topics of choice are poetry and beauty, but I found and excellent fit tailoring my style to wedding and event planning, which has turned out to provide me and endless source of topics and inspiration!


Staying True To Yourself

Never cheapen your talents. Like any other service, writing should be respected as such. Know your worth before interviewing any client and make sure they understand what your cost and schedule is like. Don’t be afraid to decline a client if you feel their expectations may exceed your available time, or they are not willing to compensate your time as you see fit. I keep a consistent contract that details cost per word, additional services, and any scheduling restrictions or expectations. Always hold up your end and be in communication when working with clients out of your time zone.

Share Your Passion

Become an educator and form a true professional relationship with your clients. Sharing blogging tips and additional suggestions to improve their message will resonate beyond your contract. Understand their brand, voice, and message to tailor your writing style. Sharing amongst creatives is rewarding no matter what the topic is.

Be Ready To Network

Maintaining a steady stream of clients requires you to stick your neck out. Attending networking events and participating in group forums with other vendors will allow you to share your personality. Referrals can go a long way – keep a positive line of communication with everyone you work with.

My last bit of advice: never forget why you started writing. Sometimes you may find yourself living Kafka-esque, working at a day job while trying to write and edit at night, but that’s what keeps the dream alive. Your art will always be there no matter what way you utilize your writing talents. Never give up on your day dream.


Strawberry fields, forever.

When we are growing up, to prepare us for the first person to have a hold on our heart, people say, “Your first love never really dies.” On June 14, 2007, mine did.

I remember being disappointed you didn’t text me “happy birthday” the day before. When I got the call, something in my heart knew before I even heard the words. So many things became monumentally insignificant in that moment. I didn’t know what real heartbreak felt like until it settled in. I had no idea how many ways it would continue to affect my life after.

There are so many moments I wish I could package and relive again. A big part of me always thought there would be a time after high school, when life would smooth out and things would make a lot more sense. Our small, middle-of-nowhere bubble would burst and our teenage angst would diminish. The reason death strikes the living so strongly is because we have to move on knowing we can’t change anything. We have to choose to live in a loop or continue forward, leaving something we loved in a non-existent plane of the past.

I’ve spent the last ten years missing you. But, I never took the time to thank you. I want to thank you for being my first boyfriend. I want to thank you for my first kiss. Thank you for making me feel beautiful, courageous, and smart. Thank you for being patient when I was confused, for making me confused, making me angry, happy, sad, and everything in between. Thank you for leaving me with the phrase “everything happens for some reason or another,” while I’ve simplified it along the way, I still think it holds true. I’ve turned my love for you into a poem, and another poems, and so many words that sometimes I stumble over them. Thank you for being the ladder of language that inspires me every day.

Every June 13th I get another year older and you stay another year beautiful. I hope whatever happens after this life is nothing short of an adventure. Ten years seems like a long time, but in the big picture, it’s just a small piece. When something bad happens, it teaches you to let go of fear, what holds you down, and take that existential leap into living your life to the fullest. Every day. Until we meet again. Life will continue to throw curve balls and test our patience, positivity, and love of living. I’ve been thinking a lot about how ten years has changed so many things, but sometimes it feels like the world stood still. I’ve had a hard time breaking out of this parallel universe. You left a piece of yourself to live on in so many people. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in something that we forget what’s going on around us. Life is infinitely beautiful with more possibilities than we can ever imagine.

Ten years later, I think we all miss you just as much as we did that day. We’re still searching for some meaning to the madness. We all hold onto what you left with us. You taught us all to open up to those possibilities offered to us in this crazy world with an open heart.

Love life.




A Cleanse A Day

On this windy Wednesday I needed a little pick-me-up to stay on track towards Spring! What a perfect time for a blog that focuses on rejuvenation of ourselves, our environment, and a total mind and spirit cleansing. Sound like a lot? No way, it’s easy! Just a couple tricks to shake off the winter woes and keep our heads in the mindset of warm breeze and rich sunshine headed our way!


The Mind Cleanse

This may seem like the most simple but can often be the most challenging. The mind is a deep and often confusing place where our consciousness makes a haven for our thoughts and desires. Put your happiness first and prioritize the rest. What is stressing you out? Is it a toxic person or situation you need to let go of? Sometimes it can be hard or nearly impossible to mentally “put away” negative thoughts or anxiety. Find an outlet such as an hour at the gym or a jog, a hobby that leaves you feeling “absent minded” (yes, this can be a good thing!) or someone you talk to that exudes a positive energy. I like to start my day with a run on the treadmill and then writing in my journal to make tangible what feels so uncertain. In lieu of a more formal meditation, this allows me to expel my worries in a physical way and then a mental way so I can go into my day feeling clear headed and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.

The Body Cleanse

Did you get your fruits and veggies? Your mom always had the best advice when it comes to nutrition and it’s important to pull these mentalities into your own diet. The most influential factor for a healthy body is what we put into it. By replacing fats, dairy, and meats with vegetables and natural spices we can trick our tastebuds into thinking we are eating something indulgent when it is actually good for us! Use coconut oil instead of vegetable or canola oil in many recipes. Substitute ground turkey for beef. Create a vibrant zucchini lasagna to cut down on carbs. The brighter the meal, the healthier it is. I personally love shopping at Aldi for the variety and price of fruits and veggies I can fill my cart with on a budget!


My favorite sweet tooth treat is a coconut cookie I cannot get enough of and packs a lot of flavor for little calories:

Yes, This is really what a healthy dessert looks like! My homemade version!

1.5 Cups Coconut (Unsweetened)
1/4 Cups Honey
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cups Chopped Almonds (Plain)
1/2 Cups Protein Powder (Vanilla)
1/8 Cups Water
1/4 Cups Coconut Oil

Mix and place in flatted balls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden/desired consistency. I tend to bake a little longer to give them some extra crispness. Fat Free Cool Whip used to make into a cookie sandwich that you can eat for breakfast, post work out snack, or dessert! Original Recipe Credit Here.


The Wallet Cleanse

A very close friend recently explained to me how she “trimmed the fat” from her spending by making a priority list of expenses and indulgences. How often do you get your nails and hair done? Do you really need cable when you can get a streaming service, or a Firestick? How often do you stop for a coffee or snack that is adding $20+ to your food budget every week? It may be unpleasant, but write out all the necessary expenses while looking at your bank account and nix the rest. You’ll have a fat savings before you know it to use on enriching things like traveling and experiences, not things.

cleanse blog

The Environment Cleanse

Feng Shui makes a huge difference on how we feel in our environment, which in turn, influences productivity and a clear outlook. Toss the clutter. With the recent blizzard that kept us all inside here in New England, I went through every possible drawer, nook, box, and bag and tossed or donated every item I had not used in the last 6 months. I then rearranged the furniture with some Pinterest inspiration and gave my modest apartment an entirely new feel. I was able to display items that had value to me and hide appliances and other clutter-feeling items with my new found cupboard space. The best part: donating clothes for cash at a local consignment shop!


No matter what aspect of your life you think needs a little cleansing, start with a plan of why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. Sometimes we can get so stuck pursuing the wrong things. It may be what we think is expected of us, or chasing our passions into a dark alley way. Step away and remember this life is for you to enjoy, not feel burdened by. Step away from the habits that leave you penniless. Step away from the toxic job that will never let you achieve what you are worth. Step away from the manipulator because you hope you can benefit them. You are worth health, happiness, and harmony.


Hair & Harmony: Hair-Kissed Salon

From one hair addict to you, I’d like to formally announce Hair-Kissed salon as my one and only hair vice as long as I live. Any joking aside, this salon is absolutely amazing, a hidden gem in Glastonbury, CT.

I have always loved playing around with my hair. From chopping off a good 12 inches of hair as a little girl (sorry for the sudden shock, Dad) to enlisting my Mom as my personal hair technician with bright red and purple box dyes, the need to change and reinvent has always felt inspiring. A new hair cut can change your day, and a bright new color can change your week. The confidence that comes from the perfect hair style starts when the chair spins around and you catch the first glimpse of a brand new you.


Owned by local hair stylists Kellie Lauzon and Carly Allen, their shared love of all things hair make this salon the perfect environment. With years of experience under their belts, opening a salon was the smart next step for these passionate ladies. “Everyone says they have always wanted to do hair, but I truly have!” said Kellie who received her cosmetology license in 2011 from the International Institute of Cosmetology. Carly began her career in 2010 as an assistant, and found her love of cut, color, extensions, and bridal styling over the past several years. Kellie and Carly meshed immediately over their deep passion for styling, bridal hair, and their artistry as stylists above all else.


Carly is certified in Deva Curl and Keratin Complex. Kellie is certified in Keratin Complex, Brazilian Blowout, Hair Dreams Extensions, and Dream Catchers Extensions. The powerhouse team is unstoppable with their time and consideration with each client. Their goal is the listen and really understand what their client wants, while educating them on how they can achieve the look with their hair type. Curly hair, damaged hair, short, long, in-between hair, don’t care! These two can take on any challenge and have fun doing it.

“My true passion and specialty is bridal hair styling and event styling. My salon Hair-Kissed is a place I can showcase my experience and extensive education in hair. I am so lucky to have teamed up with fellow hair artist and stylist Carly who shares my dream of a place where hair is the only thing that matters.” – Kellie

Kellie’s Challenge: Inspiration on the right, real final color on the left!

Grab a hot cup of coffee from their adorable mint colored Keurig, sit back, and relax. What is so great about their salon is the privacy. So often we undergo these awkward hair transitions that can be embarrassing. We may have a hair emergency or would just like a little peace and quiet as we sit with bleach on our head. With laid back music in the background and clean, secluded space to have all attention on you, it’s a breath of fresh air to go to a salon where our stylist truly listens, and gives their expert input on how to get the most out of your cut and color. You can tell these girls truly care about their clients and it isn’t all about getting you in and out with cash in their hands. You leave with the hair you envisioned, and that’s hard to come by.

Check out their website here for a full list of services, pricing and location!

Be sure to “Like” their Facebook page here! Instagram: @hair.kissed


Local Indulgence

I love food. I am lucky to live in a spot local to so many amazing spots to try out new foods decadent foods, and unique foods. I also love anything with cheese, so it was only a matter of time before I checked out the grilled cheese food truck that lingers in my town Friday and Saturday evenings until 3 am. If you think this article is a myth, you are very wrong. This truck is real, and it is magical.


Food trucks are becoming more popular, but are still similar to a unicorn in Connecticut unless you’re by the water in New Haven. They may appear at different festivals and Farmer’s Markets, but typically are not the first option for a late night snack or even catering. I’m lucky to have made ties with a grilled cheese connoisseur, if you will, my dear friend Mackenzie who makes her living and spreads her creative wings like butter on bread for these decadent sandwiches. I was also fortunate to have interviewed Mackenzie for a local wedding planner, Lauren O Events, in regards to their catering services.

We talked for a solid two hours, and I still have more questions about this amazing business. Owned by a local husband and wife with 5 kids (and one on the way!) I was immediately impressed by the extensive background in food that led the couple to owning their own business.  Both obtaining a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales University and several years in the restaurant business, a lightbulb over my head said, “Of course, everyone lscreen-shot-2017-01-25-at-6-48-25-pmoves grilled cheese-but gourmet grilled cheese,” I couldn’t think of a more beautiful phrase!

What is most unique about this business, The Whey Station, is their ever changing menu and long list of specialties. They support other local businesses from Avery’s
soda in New Britain, CT or fresh Mozzarella from East Haven, CT. I stopped by and tried a grilled cheese made with fried ravioli, fresh roasted garlic, and marinara. Be still my heart. I think I fell in love.


Upcoming Event? I firmly make the recommendation of considering a food truck like The Whey Station. They can cater indoors or outdoors with their mobile grilled cheese presses or their fully functioning truck and trailer. Plug them in or let them run on a generator. They bring the utensils, paper goods, and can even accommodate desserts, salads, and an amazing sounding appetizer platter of meats, cheeses and breads.



With poutine, truffle fries, vegan options, gluten free options, desserts, mac and cheese, and so much more all available, what more could you ask for with this mobile miracle? Their schedule is available on their Facebook and is posted every Monday, so you know exactly where to find them daily and late nights on weekends. Whether you’re looking for a quick treat or have an upcoming event with mouths to feed, look no further than The Whey Station for cheesy goodness that will cater to any appetite!


Instagram: //</center>&nbsp;”>@Wheystation

Facebook: The Whey Station

Upcoming Events!

To follow up on my latest Artist Spotlight on the oh so talented Erin Kilbane, I’m excited to announce a couple upcoming events in February you can find both Erin and myself getting creative and having some fun!

February 12th

The first event will be hosted at Hub 17, an “All You Need Is Love” female charged event featuring artwork by ErinKelli Kilbane, comedy by Whiskey Burrito, and Pure Romance products represented by yours truly. The event will feature a raffle for a couple’s prize basket and a single’s wine basket, and we encourage everyone to participate! The event is focused on female empowerment and will celebrate and evening of women claiming their health and bodies, breaking all standards of the traditional Valentine’s Day. If you’re in a relationship, join us anyway — but go ahead and leave your beau at home! This is a night of appreciating ourselves!


If you’re local to Staten Island or NYC check out the event page and RSVP here!

Life gets busy and we totally understand! If you can’t make the event, but still want to treat yo’ self to some bath, beauty, and bedroom products, you can search my Pure Romance online store here. Questions? Don’t hesitate to send me a message.


I started my own Pure Romance business with two goals in mind: make some extra cash to pay off debt and educate other women on sexual heath and beauty regimens. Many of their products have already made such a huge difference in my life, and planning the parties for my friends (and many new friends!) has been such a blast! I’ve made a bunch of new friends, helped them understand what they need to improve aspects of their life, and have already started supplementing my income! Whether you want to host a party or want to start making money, I’m happy to help!


February 14th

The next event I’m incredibly excited is a Galentine’s Day Paint Night hosted by Creative Juices, also in Staten Island, NY. In true Galentine’s fashion, this women’s only paint event will feature artist and teacher Erin Kilbane instructing the class in wine glass painting while treating the to some wine to drink!  I will have a table set up with some of our mild products but catalogues will be available along with myself to answer any questions so your Valentine’s night is a little more exciting. Spice up your holiday with a product for yourself! Check out the event on Facebook here to sign up!


These events are going to be awesome, I’m especially excited to be teaming up creative talents with Erin and doing what we do best – having fun while teaching others! We hope to see you there!


Interested in hosting a Pure Romance Girl’s Night In here in Connecticut? Send me a message on Facebook and I’ll bring the party to you! Get comfy, grab your girls, your favorite cocktail, and let’s make your next weekend unique!

Artist Spotlight: ErinKelli Kilbane

A painter and a poet got paired as roommates in August 2008. One loved the color pink and the other kept everything gray until they both realized how much they both loved glitter, and each other. The rest is history. If college wasn’t inspiring enough, I was lucky to be paired up with my opposite and my much needed partner in crime. Creating words and watercolors together for four years, I’m excited to feature ErinKelli Kilbane this week, artist, teacher, painter, muralist, fellow glitter & fuzzy animal video enthusiast.


ErinKelli is from Staten Island, New York, where you can spot her murals on garage doors, walls, and her local studio, HUB 17. As founder of Wall Recall Murals, Erinkelli was inspired by her study abroad trip to Italy to evoke large scale art and bold images. Transforming average, public spaces with art adds artistic value to a space which would otherwise be perceived as uninspired blank space. The creation of murals inspires communities.

Wall Recall Murals is a small business that manufactures quality customized wall transformations. Our team of designers and artist collaborate to establish personalized murals ranging from advertisements to photorealism. Our mission is to create large-scale murals to restore artistic value and reform private and public spaces within communities.

ErinKelli currently enjoys creating a fun atmosphere at Wine & Design, where she works as a Senior Artist. Attending a paint night type event brings your friends, family, and parties together. ErinKelli shakes up the traditional expectation of an artistic event. By incorporating different elements such as wine glasses, the creativity is endless!

Come enjoy a fun night out with friends & family! Bring your favorite bottle of wine & snacks and get ready to paint your night away! You’ll be taught step-by-step from one of our local artists and will leave with your own masterpiece! Great for girls’ night out, private parties, corporate events, wedding/engagement showers, birthday celebrations, kids events & parties, & any other special occasion!

Recently accepted into the NYC Teacher’s Fellows Program, ErinKelli plans on teaching the foundation of our future. Pursuing a position as an Art Instructor to children, she hopes to inspire the next generation into following their bliss and living a life of creative balance.


With any free time, work becomes play with elaborate artwork at Hub 17 in Staten Island. This amazing art display and performance event was an absolutely joy to attend. We got decked out in our most elaborate mermaid costumes and celebrated an evening of creative minds.


A mural on Wave St. created by Erin — Photo: Adam Smith


Photo: Valentino Scaramella

Fostering an artistic talent in a world where the value on artwork is limited, ErinKelli is paving the way for future NYC artists to nurture the innate need to create. Challenges in turn become opportunities to grow as individuals, and inspire others to find themselves in a canvas.

To see more of ErinKelli Kilbane’s artwork and follow what she is creating next, follow her on Instagram through this link.

Check out her awesome website through this link!

To purchase merchandise featuring original artwork by ErinKelli follow this link to Society6.


Inauguration Day



America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. 
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.   
I can’t stand my own mind. 
America when will we end the human war? 
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. 
I don’t feel good don’t bother me. 
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. 
America when will you be angelic? 
When will you take off your clothes? 
When will you look at yourself through the grave? 
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? 
America why are your libraries full of tears? 
America when will you send your eggs to India? 
I’m sick of your insane demands. 
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? 
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.   
Your machinery is too much for me. 
You made me want to be a saint. 
There must be some other way to settle this argument.   
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.   
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?   
I’m trying to come to the point. 
I refuse to give up my obsession. 
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. 
America the plum blossoms are falling. 
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. 
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. 
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry.   
I smoke marijuana every chance I get. 
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.   
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.   
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. 
You should have seen me reading Marx. 
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. 
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. 
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. 
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. 
I’m addressing you. 
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?   
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. 
I read it every week. 
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.   
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. 
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.   
It occurs to me that I am America. 
I am talking to myself again. 
Asia is rising against me. 
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance. 
I’d better consider my national resources. 
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that jetplanes 1400 miles an hour and twentyfive-thousand mental institutions. 
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. 
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go. 
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic. 
America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? 
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes. 
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe 
America free Tom Mooney 
America save the Spanish Loyalists 
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die 
America I am the Scottsboro boys. 
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor the Silk-strikers’ Ewig-Weibliche made me cry I once saw the Yiddish orator Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy. 
America you don’t really want to go to war. 
America its them bad Russians. 
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.   
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages. 
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations. 
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.   
America this is quite serious. 
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.   
America is this correct? 
I’d better get right down to the job. 
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. 
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel. 
Berkeley, January 17, 1956