Art Lately

Seeing Spots

May 29, 2015

When I rebranded to Lauren Jade Lately my intention was to effortlessly infuse a lot more of my original art into my blog posts. I’ve done an awful job. And it is anything but effortlessly. Not only do I have to conceptualize my blog posts into illustrations, I then actually have to execute. Then scan, edit, format and only then can I upload it into the wonderful world of the inter-webs. That…is effort and above all, time consuming. I’ve been going non-stop the last month, so luckily this time in California I have the opportunity to catch up with the blog and my art! So keep an eye out for much more of my artwork popping up here and on my portfolio site, Lauren Jade Creative.

Original Fashion Illustration | Lauren Jade Fashion IllustratorChic Fashion Blogger Illustration | Lauren Jade Fashion Illustrator

I love myself some black and white. I also love a good dalmatian print, (case and point: I painted an entire statement wall in my last apartment with the bold print.) I know it was pretty trendy last year, but I don’t care. I love it and that’s all that matters. Have an amazing weekend everyone!

| SHOP THE SPOTS |

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Life Lately

From The Archives

May 28, 2015

Today I’m going to do some physical labor. I’m oddly excited about it because I’ve been stuck in front of my computer for the last month cranking out work non-stop. So it will be nice to get my hands dirty. Since I’m back home and feeling all nostalgic and what-not, I decided it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and dig up some of my most popular posts from when the blog was Make it a Double. I picked the 5 most popular posts and brought them over to live on Lauren Jade Lately so you all could reminisce with me.Lauren Jade Lately Austin Lifestyle Blogger

| FROM THE ARCHIVES |

1. How Does LIKEtoKNOW.it Work?

2. Steve Jobs: Here’s To The Crazy Ones

3. Gold-Leaf Mirror Diy

4. DIY Dalmatian Print Wall

5. How To Create An Investor Pitch Deck

I’m happy these were the most popular reader posts because they were also some of my favorite posts to put together. Hope y’all enjoy!

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Life Lately

AUS > SFO

May 27, 2015

San Francisco Bridge Lauren Jade Lately Blog
About a month ago I decided I needed to take a trip home, so I booked a surprise trip home. My parents are selling their house and I’m going to help them with some repairs, packing and hopefully some pairing down. I grew up about 45 minutes North of San Francisco in a sleepy little town called Sebastopol. I totally took this place for granted growing up. It’s fucking beautiful, quiet and most importantly right now…not RAINING. The Texas rain and gloom was killing me. Sorry friends, but this girl’s gotta get her tan on.

I’ll be blogging from here for the next two weeks. Traveling, especially back here, always fills me with tons of inspiration and new ideas. It’s so great to remove yourself from the daily grind every once and a while. So stay tuned for some California-inspired posts, new illustrations and more.

And if you’re not already, be sure to follow me on Instagram to join in my California adventures!

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Tiny House Talk

Tiny House Financing and Funding

May 26, 2015

When we began planning our tiny house, I knew that securing the right kind of  tiny house financing for us would be the most difficult part. The past few years as struggling entrepreneurs trying to get our company off the ground has definitely not left us in the best situation financially. Between student loans and credit card debt due to lulls in revenue and job changes, it’s been hard to set aside significant savings. Of course, this is one of the many motivators for us to go tiny: financial freedom.

I had some good savings built up, but when I made a job switch and transition to freelance that took a hit. We both have student loans and have all our assets wrapped up in our startup. Luckily, I have a 729 credit score since I learned how to work the antiquated credit system years ago. I recently applied for a loan through Meet Earnest, but got denied due to debt to income ratio and lack of savings. Which was my own fault. There were a few things on the application I should have expanded on, but oh well. Our next step is going to be setting up a meeting with our business banker and seeing what we can get approved for. The money is out there to build the home of our dreams, we just have to find it.

Creative ways to pay for a Tiny House!

| TINY HOUSE FINANCING AND FUNDING IDEAS |

Cash – Obviously this is the most ideal situation. Many tiny housers choose to build/pay as they go if they are unable to secure bank financing.

Your Personal Banker– Have you been a loyal customer of your bank for many, many years without any negative marks on your account? Schedule a time to go in and talk with your personal banker. Explain the situation and see what options they might have for you. The economy is in a much better place than it was 2008. If you’ve spent the time to build a good relationship with your banker it could pay off huge in getting approved for financing.

Friends & Family – This is always a super tricky one. Only go the FF route if you are 100% confident you can pay them back + interest in FULL and on time. I’d also suggest putting together an easy to understand term sheet, like this one, and having both parties sign it and agree to everything before money starts swapping hands.

TinyHouseLending.Com – A site that matches you with lending institutions that are willing to underwrite unsecured personal loans up to 100k.

MeetEarnest.Com–  A new online funding institution that does both student loan re-financing and personal loans. Simple application process, uses LinkedIn and other unique data points to better understand you as a borrower.

TinyHouseLoans.Com– Links to a free E-book about peer-to-peer lending for tiny homes. This is also a great opportunity for those looking to invest and support the tiny house movement.

Crowdfunding– Now this is just my opinion, but I am against people crowdfunding to build their tiny homes. I think platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe have specific purposes and getting money from people to build your home isn’t one of them. With that said, of course there are always exceptions and extremes that someone may find themselves asking for money to build shelter or new home. I do think though this can be a very cool idea in lieu of wedding gifts, a honeymoon fund or something similar. So…

HoneyMoon/ Birthday/ Holiday Gift Fund– I have thought about setting up a fund that my family/friends can donate to on birthdays/holidays instead of gifts. Zola is a new wedding registry/fund site that I like the look of. You could also use one of these sites to ‘register’ for items for you tiny home if you feel more comfortable doing that. I think it could be fun and a more personal way to help your friend build the home of their dreams without it feeling like charity.

RV/Motorhome Loan – If you are purchasing your tiny home from an ‘RV-certified manufacturer’ like Tumbleweed Homes, many are beginning to offer financing with purchase of their plans. Also, there are many sites like the funding sites above that will approve loans if they are for the purchase of a boat, RV or motorcycle.

For those nervous or wary about taking out a line of credit for a tiny home because of interest or the large sum amount. just consider this:

We currently pay $1700 for a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apt outside of Austin. So in just one year we have paid $20,400!!

We will have lived together for 3 years, in 3 different apartments:

$24,000 – Total 1st apartment rent for one year

$13,200 + $600 in Move-Out fees*= $13,800 – Total 2nd apartment rent for second year

$20,400 – Total 3rd apartment rent for third year

Total Money Paid in Rent Together – $58,200

I’ll just let that sit there for a second. But what about just getting a mortgage for a ‘regular house’? Well if you’re concerned with the interest you’ll pay on a 3-year personal loan, just do the math on a 30-yr fixed-rate mortgage and then let’s talk. (*for the record, I hate math, But spoiler alert: it’s a lot of $$. ) Also remember that if you’re able to time it right like we are hoping to do, your monthly loan payment will BE your rent payment. So we’ll essentially be lowering our monthly rent from $1700 to $800-$900 a month.

Did you successfully secure financing for your tiny home? I want to hear about it! Or just any additional input anyone may have would be extremely useful to us as well.

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*Say good-bye to ridiculous ‘move-out’ fees & move-out costs when you own/live in your tiny home!!

Creating A Capsule Wardrobe: The Beginning

May 25, 2015

Over the past few months I’ve made a lot of progress on my closet and wardrobe. To clarify, I consider my wardrobe to be the outward-facing clothes that comprise my daily outfits v. my closet which is the home in which all my clothes, shoes and accessories reside. I’m in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe that will transition perfectly (I hope) into the tiny house.  It’s been a very interesting journey going from somewhat of a clothes hoarder to having less than 200 items in the closet. This year in general has been a very personal and enriching time in my life. There is a certain amount of clarity gained by being able to let go of so many material possessions and  shifting focus inwards. It has allowed me to invest precious time in my creativity, mental health and relationships.  But… what does this have to do with clothes?

Everything.wardrobe-5

Our clothes, whether we’re conscious of it or not, define us. Whether we like it or not; speak for us.

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How I'm Creating a Capsule Wardrobe | Lauren Jade Lately Austin Lifestyle Blogger

If you missed this post on my first closet clean-outs I would recommend giving it a read for some background. But this weekend I did another round of editing and realized I had been somewhat cheating myself with my Closet Inventory Spreadsheet. I was so OCD about it in the beginning I didn’t rationalize that I really shouldn’t count things like socks and workout clothes in my ‘wardrobe count’. But since I will have extremely limited space in the tiny house I do need to be conscious of keeping those categories to a minimum as well. So I updated the spreadsheet formula to include a true capsule wardrobe count. I totaled only the categories for creating daily outfits: tops, bottoms, shoes, shorts, jackets…and got a grand total of 125! So I’m definitely getting closer.

Clothes are transformative. They can give us confidence, comfort and protection. Our outfits act as a silent elevator pitch, giving people a quick taste of who you are before you ever even open your mouth. You can’t have a redo on a first impression. If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, lack-confidence or creativity, maybe it’s time for you to tackle the closet…

How I'm Creating a Capsule Wardrobe | Lauren Jade Lately Austin Lifestyle Blogger

I’ve found from doing this most recent edit it is SO true that we only wear 20% or maybe even less of what’s hanging in our closet. We have our favorites. The pieces that you just know will fit, that are comfortable, that make you feel confident or sexy. Then you have pieces you purchased on a whim, or on the poor suggestion of a friend. The last time I did an edit was end of January-ish and I was kind of a baby about it. Also it was winter so I didn’t really mess with my dresses. This time, I was ruthless. I went from 54 dresses to 27 and 89 tops to 61. Those new numbers though are still outrageous. Seeing as though I now primary wear black, white & neutrals, most of the pieces are items that I haven’t touched in months. (and probably never will) 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PUTTING A CAPSULE WARDROBE TOGETHER

1. Do you LOVE it? Like, actually love it. Is it constantly in your laundry, do you mindless grab it when you’re late or don’t feel like putting an outfit together.

2. Just Because You Loved It a Year Ago Doesn’t Mean You Owe It Anything You don’t need to feel guilty about saying goodbye of your once-loved, but since forgotten pieces. If you haven’t touched it in 3+ months, it’s time to let it go. It treated you well many moons ago, but now it’s just taking up precious real estate and causing closet havoc.

3. Versatility Make sure all the pieces you are keeping for a capsule wardrobe are extremely versatile and can see through the quickly changing fashion trends. It doesn’t mean ALL your pieces need to be boring. Find a color palette that works for you and stick to that range. Explore new textures, unique fabrics and materials that before you may have not considered.

4. Build Around Your ‘Go-To’ Outfits We all have them. Pull those out, put them on and study what makes you feel so good in them. Once you figure out what that is, don’t allow a new piece of clothing to enter your closet unless it fits the bill. All your clothes should compliment each other and most importantly, YOU.

5. There are no rules At the end of the day, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules about designing and maintaining a capsule wardrobe. Everyone has their own guidelines, ideals and opinions on what it is, how you should develop it, what should be included. The most important thing is that it makes you feel empowered, grants you more time (from time spent shopping every weekend. Mornings deciding what to wear etc.) and simply just works for you.

My next step is to design a Capsule Wardrobe Checklist. I’m going to plan exactly what I need for a great fall wardrobe under 40 items. (Since Summer is already here, I’ll just continue pairing down until the tiny house move)

How I'm Creating a Capsule Wardrobe | Lauren Jade Lately Austin Lifestyle BloggerTHE BEST RACHEL ZOE QUOTE |Minimalist Monday signature-new

 

Life

Date Night Ideas With Austin Passbook

May 20, 2015

The man and I have dated for a few years now, 4-ish to be exact-ish. And I’ll be the first to admit I got lazy in the relationship. The cute, sexy dresses turned to sweatpants (Not the cute Victoria Secret kind) and ‘date night’ was lounging on the couch chugging wine and ordering thai food. (For the record…I still do those things…just by myself.)

Coming up with date night ideas is rough. Sometimes we nail it, sometimes…not so much. Luckily, the summer edition of Austin Passbook is here and I’m so so excited. We had one last year and it was AWESOME. 2 for 1 deals around the city. It includes 2 sections: Eat & Play.

Date Night With Austin Passbook

Eat is a fabulously curated list of Food Trucks. And this season’s offering is even more diverse than last. I’m so excited to try places like 40 North (Pizza), Gibroni’s (Tex-Mex Italian) & The Cecilia Jacobs Cheesecake Experience.

Play is a kick-ass list of great activities all around Austin. We live in such an adventurous city and it would be such a shame to let it go to waste. While our date night always includes food, we’ve also been branching out with new activities.

| FUN DATE IDEAS FOR SUMMER |

(tested and approved by yours truly. Remember to always keep your Passbook on you just in case.)

– Take a half-day at work and go for a spa day! The W Hotel offers a 30% discount on all spa services M-Th for locals! You get full use of the gym, steam room and pool! So grab your suits, get pampered and order some cocktails poolside.

– Hit up some early happy hour and then pop over to the The Contemporary Austin for a some art and culture.  It’s $5 and always have great, conversation-starting installations.

– Grab some bikes and go for a ride. Don’t bother making a plan, just start riding! Stop whenever something peaks your fancy. There are so many quirky, goofy things to do around town. We recently indulged in some BYOB Peter Pan Putt Putt!  It’s always a blast and a true Austin staple.

– Bowl it up! I haven’t bowled in forever, but we hit up Westgate Lanes recently and it was a blast. We love being competitive and it makes date night so much more entertaining (unless you lose) There’s also Dart Bowl and when we lived up north, The Goodnight which gets you more of a bar/nightlife feel.

– Rent a SWAN BOAT from Capital Cruises! I want to go on one of those damn swan boats so bad. Cheap bottle of wine, some cheese and a swan boat. Perfection. And there’s a rental deal for it in Austin Passbook! Eek…I’m excited!

 

– Go dancing at White Horse! We’ll probably never accomplish this date night because J doesn’t really like to boogie. But maybe someday!

– Tackle Blues on The Green. I can normally handle BOTG once or twice a year.It’s every other Wednesday during the summer which is perfect for our date night. It’s a must for any Austinite, but it’s grown a LOT in just 4 years.

– Laughter is the best medicine…and the sexiest! One of our favorite things to get our giggle on. Why not catch a comedy show?I hear Cap City Comedy Club is a solid choice, but what I’ve reallllly wanted to do is stand-up. It’s one of my dreams. So maybe we’ll check out a Free Intro Comedy Class at The Hideout.

Order your Austin Passbook here to get TONS of great deals starting June 1st!

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*Some posts on this site are sponsored posts. All words, content and opinions are 100% my own. While on occasion I may receive compensation in the form of free product, gifts or money in exchange for posts, I only partner with brands I truly support/love/use.