On a living spree with: Loren Sanders of Lavishly Loren

The Lavish Life meets The Living Spree

I’ve been following Loren Sanders (@lavishly_loren) on Instagram for a while now and I honestly fell in love with her content right away. We shared so many similarities and became instant supporters of each other’s platforms. Loren is uplifting, positive, and I love her transparency. Not to mention, sis can SLAY all day! Quite naturally, I wanted to share Loren’s incredible story because she is definitely on a living spree!

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF

Lavishly Loren is a fashion and lifestyle blog authored by Loren Sanders, a frugal fashionista and an adventurous jet-setter. Loren is a self-proclaimed “trend-savvy and budget-friendly” fashion maven who loves everything travel, beauty, reflection, women empowerment, and slay. Her muse is the lavish lifestyle. She effortlessly creates economical but sumptuously rich, expressively styled “looks” without breaking the bank. She also loves to jet set to the next island or country whenever she feels the need to live lavishly. The goal of Lavishly Loren is to inspire, share and empower others to live their best “Lavish” life, frugally.

I launched my blog as a birthday gift to myself so that I could create a safe space to express myself how I saw myself. Here we are six months later. Lavishly Loren is live and in full motion! My initial blueprint or intention for my blog was to use it as a creative outlet and public journal in a way. Little did I know that by sharing my challenges and experiences, I would be encouraging other women as well offering styling services.

Prior to my launch, I sat and thought for months about how I wanted to express myself, what is my real purpose, and what tool or platform should I share both. Often times, social media has a funny way of making things look peachy perfect when behind the scenes it’s really creative chaos. I wanted to be sure I was being my true self because it’s important to be relatable and genuine to who you are. As a Blogger, you have this pressure to continuously produce content. Which leads me to one of my challenges as a new blogger.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IS KEY

One challenge is freeing myself creatively. As a Blogger, you want to be relatable and sometimes you can get caught up in the “am I sharing too much” or comparing your art to other Bloggers or Creators. Truthfully, this is a constant ongoing challenge. As a person and as a Blogger, you’re constantly evolving and offering a certain level of vulnerability that you normally don’t offer up. I think that requires a unique type of courage.

Another challenge is, balancing my 9-5, blog, social life, relationship, styling services, and still have time for me. The balancing act is overwhelming at times and you really have to be real with yourself, often. You can’t do everything, period. You have to say no, you have to take mental breaks, and you just simply have to put you first.

MANIFESTING, LUV ENJOY

I’m a huge believer of manifesting. My blog is a big part of my manifesting journey. I’m continuously growing as a person and my blog challenges me to continually self reflect and be aware. That’s something that I really wanted to be intentional about. I’m not a jealous person by any means, I love to see other women smash their goals. It’s funny because when I see other women accomplish something that’s on my goal list or that’s aligned with my vision, I’ll say to myself “I’m next” and then BOOM it happens!

I’m so thankful and honored to have an amazing tribe of people on and off social media that support me wholeheartedly. I’m also thankful to be a guest blogger or featured blogger for MY LIVING SPREE. It’s actually a great example for what I manifested to happen in my first year of blogging. Not only did I get to be a guest blogger but I’m featured on the exact Bloggers blog that inspired me to start blogging from jump. Look how God works!

If you’re ready to live your best “Lavish” life, I want to help you! Be sure to follow me Instagram @lavishly_loren and subscribe to my blog Lavishly Loren. Last but not least, if you are ready to Slay With Me, I am now offering styling services. Definitely contact me if you are ready to slay, live life, and love yourself. Until next time, I’m Manifesting Luv, Enjoy!

Lavishly Loren: Fashion+ Travel= Lifestyle

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EmpowerHER: 7 Ways to Support and Lift Women Higher

“People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”

Michelle Obama

March was Women’s History Month—a time to honor women in history, inform the present and inspire future generations. While March marked the national celebration of women, I believe it is our job as women to empower, uplift, encourage, motivate and support women higher every day. We must commit to serving each other in order to fulfill our purpose and make this world a better place. Your sister needs you and below are 7 ways you can support and lift your sister higher:


Pictured with Houston style blogger: @aroundthewaygyrl
Photographer: @sweenshots

1. Show up for her, physically and emotionally

Your sister needs to know that you are there for her and that you care for her. Sometimes the only person that can relate to you is your sister because she has been through what you are going through and/or understands you. She needs your support and to know that you have her back no matter what. Ask her if you can help her with something or be of service to her in any way. Whether it’s stopping by her house to check on her, or showing up at her event, let her know that you care! If she is going through a rough patch, lend a shoulder for her to lean, pray for her or send her words of encouragement. Lastly, celebrate her accomplishments and victories along with her! She may need the reinforcement and reassurance to keep going.

2. Collaborate, don’t compete

This one is simple. We are a movement by ourselves, but we are a force when we’re together! There’s power in numbers and we can work wonders if we collaborate and build together. The goal should be to build each other up instead of tearing each other down or competing against one another. Let go of the selfish “mine, mine, mine” mentality. There is enough out here for all of us to eat. We can build so much more together than we ever will apart.

3. Create a safe space for women to use their voice

Let’s open up! We need to create more safe spaces for women to come together and openly share their experiences, struggles and triumphs. Likely your sister is going through the same thing you are and she needs your support too. And if she hasn’t, it is highly likely that your story will inspire you in some way or shed some wisdom on you or give hope. It’s our stories that give us access and connection to each other.It’s uplifting and encouraging when you know you are not alone in your journey and the only way we know that is by sharing our stories with one another. Let’s continue having conferences, brunches, dinners, talks, girl’s night, interviews and other spaces for women to thrive.

4. Speak to who she is at her core

Society tells us to focus more on external beauty rather than who we are on the inside. We continue that narrative with projection of physical beauty and validation toward each other. No, I am not saying not to compliment women for being beautiful. Please continue to keep that energy going! However, let her know that you value other attributes about her as well! What about her generosity, kindness, humility and integrity? What about the way she gives back to her local community? Speak to who she is at her core. Remember: The most attractive thing about you should have less to do with your face and body and more to do with your heart and how you treat people.

5. Support her new pursuits or life transitions

If she is starting a new business, support it by telling others about her business or purchasing her new product or service! If she has a new baby, visit her and take her food! And if she’s moving into a new apartment or home, ask if you can help her move! Sometimes we need that extra push and encouragement to know that our sister has our back through life’s transitions. It gives a sense of security knowing that someone is supporting us along the way.

6. Create authentic relationships and friendships with each other

This one is huge! How often do you go to events, meetups or conferences and other women size you up before you even open your mouth? They either don’t want to speak to you because you don’t “appear” to be important or they run to you because they feel that you can take them to the next level. Listen, we need to forge genuine relationships with everyone! Let’s give everyone the same energy, time and attention. Trust me, you never know who you will need one day and you could miss out on a great relationship or network by putting up a wall.

7. Open doors for the women coming behind you

Lastly, let’s continue to create opportunities for the women that are coming behind us. Hire women, inspire women, uplift women, give back to women, mentor women and teach women things that you have learned. Be the person that you had or wished you had when you were in that same position. Sew the seeds that others have sewn into your life.

Let’s continue celebrating each other beyond Women’s History Month, beyond #WomanCrushWednesday, and beyond the exterior. We are all powerful in our own right and it is time to unleash that power within us and within each other! What is one way you can commit to uplifting women in the coming days, weeks or months? I want to hear from you!

Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this post for everyone to read on your social media platforms! Until next time, let’s go on a living spree!

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Incorporating family heirlooms into your look

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams”


Influence

If you follow me on social media, you may know that my grandmother passed away back in December of 2018 a couple of days before Christmas. Naturally, I was heartbroken. So much of the woman I am today is due to the immense influence she had on my life. She was a nurse and I became a nurse. She was the original world traveler and taught me the value of collecting passport stamps. As a toddler, she taught me the value of education, which inspired me to excel academically throughout grade school and enter a Top 20 University for college. Last but not least, my grandmother was the original fierce, fabulous fashionista! She was unapologetically “ON” at all times. Yes, she was the type to rock pearls and furs to the grocery store. LOL Furs were her best friend and she prided herself on her collection of fur coats, hats, and stoles. Needless to say, I’ve got it honestly. I get all of my bad and bougie traits from her. Grandma Ruby taught me well! 🙂

Keeping the legacy alive

The day before she passed away I decided to do a photoshoot with a vintage Saks 5thAvenue fur stole she passed down to me in 2015. I kept this prized heirloom tucked away safely in my closet for special occasions only. However, this day I decided to incorporate the heirloom and create a fabulous look with it—one that would honor her legacy and show her influence on my life and style.

An unforgettable moment

Shooting this look, I literally embodied her essence. It was surreal! As I stroked the fur of the stole, I felt her presence right there with me. It was as if she was reassuring me that she would always be there. I always knew she was proud of me, but I genuinely felt it in that moment. It was a moment that I would never forget.

Making her proud

Grandma Ruby tried to keep up with my blog as much as she could, but unfortunately she never got a chance to see the photos from this shoot.  She passed away the very next morning. Her legacy most definitely lives on in and through me! You are looking at “Lil’ Ruby” (as she would call me sometimes). I am proud to honor the original Mrs. Cockrell. 

In Loving Memory of my grandmother Ruby C. Cockrell
(my favorite photo of her circa late 1980s)

Other ways to incorporate heirlooms into your look

Her heirloom means even more to me than ever before. If you have something that belonged to your loved one, don’t just sit it in your closet, incorporate it into your daily look! I also have a scarf from my great-grandmother that passed away that I use as a neck-tie. If you have a broach or pin from a loved one, you can pin on your blazer or on a beret. Every time you see that piece it will remind you of their love and support and wearing these heirlooms helps you to create a style all your own.

Style details

Not only is this look in honor of my grandmother’s legacy, but its the perfect look for a fancy night out on the town. Valentine’s Day is approaching and you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks. Trust me! I found this top at a local Houston thrift store for less than $10 (amazing, right?!), the skirt was $10.50 from American Apparel, and the YSL pumps were less than $300 from a second-hand store (another great deal!). Remember, it’s not how much you spend that makes your look. It is how you put it together!

How do you plan to incorporate your family heirlooms in your next look? Or rather, what is another way you can honor the legacy of your loved ones? Comment below so I can hear from you!

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“I can buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit!”

“Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.” -Nicky Hilton

I love luxury brands and designer clothes, but I’m also a fan of mixing high and low! I call it balling on a budget. LOL. I can literally shop at any store in search of good deals on clothing that I can restyle and wear over and over again. When you’re on a living spree, you want to look stylish while still saving those coins! Plus, I’m a firm believer in adding value to my clothes and not allowing the clothes to add value to me. By no surprise, Fashion Nova is one of my go-to stores for online shopping deals when I want to create a luxe look for less. I love the saying, “Mix high and low, they’ll never know.” 🙂

She won

One of my favorite items I purchased from Fashion Nova is the “Wild World Chevron Jumpsuit.” I scored it for a mere $26 using a 30% off discount code! I first saw it on celebrity Adrienne Bailon, who styled it beautifully. I knew the vibrant jumpsuit would be perfect for vacation-wear, but the long sleeves and pants also made it feasible as a transition piece when the seasons changed.

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova | Similar: here , here and here

This jumpsuit is a current fave in my closet and here’s why:

The color

I love color, especially pops of color. As mentioned in one of my first blogs here, popping a color is one of my favorite ways to make a fashion statement. Don’t shy away from rocking vibrant colors year round! Once the seasons change, you can add a black leather jacket or navy blazer over the shoulders.

The Print

Prints, shapes and patterns are definitely “my thing.” I love energetic, tribal patterns. The retro chevron print is actually one of my favorite style patterns, but this was the first chevron print I wore that also had all of the colors I loved in one!

The Fit

Let’s just say this piece fit me like a glove!  It accentuated the waistline and was super stretchy and comfortable, which is important for someone like me who’s stylishly on-the-go.

Dress to Impress

You could wear this jumpsuit anywhere! I wore it on date as well as a night out on the town. You can also wear to brunch, events, parties, etc. and make a fashion statement. As mentioned previously, you can add a leather jacket over the shoulder to add extra edge or even a hat for transition into the fall season!

High-low Mix Tips

When shopping at trendy stores like Fashion Nova, try to visualize how you can enhance the quality and look of the outfit. Remember, you make the clothes…the clothes don’t make you! Dress it up with cute accessories and a nice handbag. I decided to keep it simple and wear these gorgeous gold earrings from ZARA, added my Prada sunglasses and the infamous bamboo handbag.

Earrings: ZARA (sold out) | Similar: here, here, and here

Stay woke

Don’t sleep on Fashion Nova! They do have some cute items in their shop, but don’t expect the “best quality” in the world. You can’t go wrong with them for trendy clothing or last minute “cute” outfits.  I guarantee before this year is over you will at least take them up on one of the many sales they have! Who can turn down a 30% off discount? It’s worth a try!

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova

Earrings: ZARA

Sunglasses: Prada

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Bamboo handbag: Amazon

Makeup: Tonia O. Artistry 

Photographer: JP Hanney

Don’t forget to join me on my living spree! Subscribe to the blog and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all things fashion, travel and inspiration to live your best life! I would love to chat with you there and hear some of your feedback. Leave a comment below if you’ve ever shopped at Fashion Nova and created a luxe look for less! I want to  your experience!

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How I Conquered New York Fashion Week in 2 Days

“I’m living my best life…”

Indulging Life

My latest living spree was my very first New York Fashion Week experience. I was only in NYC for a weekend getaway so naturally, I crammed a ton of things into 2 days! But, that’s what a living spree is all about—indulging life no matter what. For over 6 years, participating in NYFW was a bucket list dream of mine.  However, I always came up with an excuse not to attend—I’m not qualified to be there; I have to work; I am not prepared, etc. This year, I refused to get in my own way again and I finally took that leap of faith! This blog will cover some specifics of the fashion, but I would like to focus more on the experience I had in hopes of inspiring you to take a leap and do something you’ve always wanted to do as well. You never know the outcome unless you try!

Top: SHIFT StyleHouse | Skirt: Marshall’s (old $7) | Booties: Steve Madden “Wagner” | Handbag: Kisa Kisa

Fueling My Creativity

NYC is pure magic and is always a source of inspiration and entertainment for me. Although I’m from the South, I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of the city. Maybe it’s the tall skyscrapers and city scape that make me feel fearless or maybe it’s the creativity that I see simply by people watching. Whatever it is, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I wanted to enjoy the city and some of the entertainment and sights on the first day in order to maximize my time and also my experience. I dedicated day 1 of my living spree to exploring the city.

Rose Mansion was the first stop on the agenda for Saturday. Rose Mansion is a traveling museum dedicated to the history and making of rosé. It’s also every blogger’s dream because it’s filled with tons of boomerang and photo ops—a “content” castle if you will! While walking through the rooms of the museum, we sampled 10 different rosé from all over the world while learning the history of this classic beverage. Although Rose Mansion had nothing to do with fashion week, it was an awesome way to get my “creative juices flowing” (pun intended lol)!

(Enjoying Rose Mansion with Friends Shyla and Danielle!)

(Final sample of the day: Sway Rose’ from Texas)

Next stop was Dumbo Brooklyn to experience the infamous Washington Street—everyone’s favorite street for a photo op. This location is popular because of its corridor-like view of the Manhattan Bridge. As you walk closer to the bridge to the end of the street, there is a spectacular view of the East River. I’m always searching for a breathtaking view when I travel and this spot definitely lived up to the hype!

Top: Thrifted | Pants: ModChic Couture | Metallic Pumps: Zara | Tassle Earrings: Ch0ked

Essence Street Style

After exploring the city on Saturday and catching up with friends, I finally got to the nitty gritty of my NY fashion weekend experience on Sunday. First stop—Essence Street Style. “Street Style” began as a section of Essence magazine and has since evolved into a block party and staple of NYFW.  Hundreds gather in fabulous “street style” fashion to celebrate black culture, community and style. When you look around, everyone was dressed to the nines and photoshoot ready. I was beaming from ear to ear and taking notes at the same time ☺

Top: Thrifted shirt tied into bandeau | Pants: House of Chic L.A. | Wedges: LolaShoetique

There were numerous black-owned vendors at the block party, so I did what I do best—shop!  My first purchase of the day was a stunning gold choker. I had been looking for a statement a piece just like it, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally find it! I also had a chance to see the new Lebron James limited edition women’s sneaker, which is the result of a collaboration spearheaded by incredible black women designers and a partnership between Nike and Harlem’s Fashion Row (“HFR”), a movement founded to increase diversity in fashion. It was great to see the shoes in person and also to learn about their ground-breaking significance, especially given that the shoes sold out in little over 5 minutes after they launched earlier that week.

(Ran into Houston Beauty Guru and Founder of Lamik Cosmetics, Kim Roxie)

(Lebron James Women’s Sneaker)

My First Fashion Show

After spending less than 30 minutes at Essence Street Style Festival, I hopped in a Lyft and rode from Brooklyn back to Manhattan to attend my first fashion show. I was beyond excited! Not only was this the first real fashion show I had ever attended, but it was definitely my first time attending as press and receiving a media pass! Back in May, I attended an event in Houston titled “A Girl’s Guide to NYFW” in collaboration with handbag designer Elizabeth (“Beth”) Purpich. At the end of the event, Beth announced that she would be showcasing her designs at NYFW and passed out invitations to all attendees at the event! I was so excited and at that moment, I made the decision that I would attend my very first fashion show since the opportunity presented itself. I kept in contact with Beth via email and she offered me a VIP/Press pass and an opportunity to interview her prior to the show. I was honored and elated!

(Pictured with designers Elizabeth Purpich and Veronica Purpich)

During the Cesar x Beth Fashion Show, Beth showcased her handbags in collaboration with the clothing designs of Cesar Galindo. I was so honored to attend and support designers who are both from Houston. The show boasted a colorful mix of zebra prints, sequins, and florals all with an “Afro punk” vibe. I LOVED almost everything the designers sent down the runway and would definitely wear some of the outfits personally. I think most of us millennials are looking toward Africa for fashion inspiration and creativity, so the designs felt timely and on point.

The Interview with designer, Elizabeth Purpich

The highlight of the night was my interview with Beth and her sister-in-law Veronica. This was so special to me not only because it was my first interview experience, but also because I learned that Beth is on a living spree herself! During the interview, Beth noted that she is a self-taught designer, whose vision for creating handbags came to her in a dream. She brought that vision to life in the form of the now popular “Longhorn” handbag. This was the catalyst to her starting a one-of-a-kind designer handbag line. Prior to releasing her first line, she had no prior experience in fashion or design.  She simply followed her dream and the rest is history. Five years later, the Elizabeth Purpich collection is not only a successful handbag collection in Texas, but all over the country. Beth’s living spree is pursuing her dream through embracing her creativity and embarking on a journey that has unlocked her true potential! Watch a clip from the interview below:

(Beth was excited to receive her “My Living Spree” tee!)

(Pictured above with designer Cesar Galindo)

The Magic of Time Square

After the fashion show, I literally stumbled into Times Square! My face lit up like a kid in a candy store. Walking up and down the blocks on Broadway, seeing all of the lights and billboard signs was literally a dream come true. I had forgotten the magic of Times Square. It was in that moment that I stopped for a photo op (as always lol) and made the promise to myself that I would be back. I promised myself to never diminish my potential and to always believe in myself. I vowed to operate as if I belong in any and every situation and to always seize every opportunity that comes my way.

Two Day Takeaway

I definitely wish I could have stayed longer than 2 days because there was so much more to see and do. Experiencing NYFW in two days was nearly impossible, but it worked for me in my own way. I was grateful for the experience I had, the inspiration I gained from being in the city, and the connections I made at the shows. I learned that it’s all about setting intentions and putting yourself out there. Never allow fear to keep you from doing something because you never know what good things can come out of it.  Next year, I plan to do NYFW again, but bigger and better than ever!

 

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