Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

Currently September


Watching: Fall TV is back! I’m a little bit of a TV junkie. I’m not someone who turns on the TV just to watch something, but I have a lot of shows that I watch loyally. I’m excited for my favorites to come back and to try out some new shows.

Reading: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m only about halfway through because it’s long, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

Listening: Forever 35. I think I’m late to the party on this podcast, but I’m really enjoying going back through their archive. It’s a podcast about beauty and self-care with a different guest each week.

Wearing: It’s that awkward time of year where it’s still warm, but not summer anymore. I feel like my summer clothes aren’t appropriate and it’s too warm to break out the fall clothes.

Looking forward to: Finally moving! More to come on that later, but I’ve been bouncing around for several months so I’m excited to finally get settled in my new place.

What have you been up to this month?

Coffee Date

This is my first “coffee date” post. I love doing the monthly currently post, but that only goes into very surface level details of my life at the moment. I want a post where I can really talk to you and get to know you in the process.

If we were having coffee I’d probably order a cold brew or something iced because it’s been way too hot outside to even think about a hot coffee. The cold foam cold brews at Starbucks have been a favorite lately. The foam is just enough to sweeten the coffee without it feeling too sweet.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have some big, exciting news that I can’t share publicly yet, and it’s killing me. It’s the worst being excited about something that you have to keep a secret. Because I know it’s probably your first guess, no I’m not pregnant.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I really want to dedicate more time to this blog. Since I’ve started, it’s been a good week if I get one post up. And forget keeping up with social media. I love this little space because it’s a great creative outlet, but I’ve been neglecting it from the start.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve started shaving my face. I had blonde upper lip hair that I was getting increasingly self conscious about. I started searching for ways to get rid of it without doing something super painful like waxing and stumbled upon this Popsugar article. I bought these eyebrow razors, and I’ve loved it. Shaving makes my face feel so smooth and no more lip hair!

Currently July


I can’t believe it’s the end of July already! This summer has just flown by.

Watching: Sharp Objects. HBO produced a miniseries based on Gillian Flynn’s novel starring Amy Adams. I’ve only watched the first episode, but it’s so so good. HBO did an amazing job with Big Little Lies, and it looks like they have with this one too.

Reading: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I’ve pretty much just started reading this so I don’t have an opinion on it yet. The movie is coming out next week so I wanted to read the book first. And the book has rave reviews on Goodreads.

Listening: My Favorite Murder. I’ve discovered recently that I really love listening to podcasts during the day. It helps the day go by faster when I have something to listen to in the background. I’ve been getting through 2 or 3 episodes of My Favorite Murder a day lately. They describe themselves as a true crime comedy, and they discuss two true crime stories an episode. I love everything true crime, and this is right up my alley.

Wearing: Jeans. I used to live for warmer weather because I loved wearing skirts and dresses, but lately I’ve been gravitating more towards jeans. I think it’s partly because I have more tops that I like wearing than I used to and partly because I’ve found that jeans that actually fit me and are comfortable. I always wore American Eagle jeans because I thought that’s what fit me, but it turns out jeans are really comfortable when they actually fit you.

Eating: Tacos. Seriously, it’s like I can’t get enough. I think what I really love about tacos is that there’s so much variety, you can eat them for every meal and always have something different.

What have you been up to this month?

What’s in my Beach Bag

Disclaimer: Lauren E. Townsend is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. I may earn commission from the products mentioned in this post.

I’m headed off to the beach next week. My boyfriend is at a bachelor party all weekend, so we’ll be heading down to North Carolina Monday afternoon. Usually we try to make time for beach trips in the fall and around Memorial Day, but we weren’t able to do either of those this past year so this will be our first trip back to my family’s beach house in a year.

I always like to read posts about what other people are packing, so I thought I’d share what I’ll be packing for my beach bag.

what's in my beach bag

Beach Towel // Cover-up // S’well Water Bottle // Alba Hawaiian Suncreen // Lip Balm SPF 30 // Supergoop Spray On Sunscreen // Kindle // Beach Hat // Beach Bag

Beach Towel– Old Navy has the cutest patterned beach towels. They’re pretty thin, so you get what you pay for, but at $10.50 a towel they’re perfect for a day at the beach.

Cover-up– I love a cute cover up! This one from J. Crew Factory is perfect and breezy.

S’well Water Bottle– I’m obsessed with S’well water bottles. They really do keep your water cold, even when you’re sitting out in the hot sun. You can obviously find cheaper ones that aren’t a part of the Lilly Pulitzer collaboration, but I love the bright prints.

Alba Hawaiian Suncreen– I like Alba sunscreens because they’re made of clean ingredients. It’s not too thick or sticky, and doesn’t give you the feeling of being covered in sunscreen.

Supergoop Spray On Sunscreen– I usually use a cream sunscreen for my initial application, but I like to take a spray sunscreen with me to use throughout the day. It’s much easier to apply on sandy skin. I’ve heard really great things about the Supergoop sunscreens so I picked up a bottle of this to take with us.

Lip Balm SPF 30– The worst is when you’re spending time in the sun, and your lips get burned. I like to always have a lip balm on hand with some kind of SPF to protect my lips.

Kindle– I always take my Kindle to the beach. I can take as many books as I want, and there’s no glare in the sun. They’re pretty sturdy, so I haven’t ever had any trouble with taking mine out to the beach.

Beach Hat– I’m pretty fair-skinned, so I like to wear a hat on the beach to protect my scalp and give my face and shoulders a little extra sun protection.

Beach Bag– I usually stick to cheap beach bags, but lately I’ve been loving using a Scout bag. They’re basically indestructible so when they get sandy or sticky, they’re very easy to clean.


What are your beach must haves?

Currently June


Happy official first day of summer!

Watching: Younger. It’s the one show that I really look forward to watching every week. I started watching the first season when it came out because I was excited to see Hilary Duff back in a TV series, and I’ve been hooked!

Reading: The Royal We. It’s taking me a long, long time to get through though. Maybe because I recently read Royals by Rachel Hawkins, I’ve already filled my royal fix?

Listening: S-Town. I’ve been hearing a lot about this podcast so I gave it a try on a road trip to Raleigh. By the end of the series, everything still felt really unresolved to me, but listening to it certainly made the time fly by.

Playing: Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery. It’s borderline embarrassing how hooked I am on this game. You get to be a witch/wizard at Hogwarts and take classes and build relationships. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Wearing: True & Co.’s front closure bra. I also tried one of their True Body bras that you pull over your head and ended up returning it. Honestly, getting it on and off was just too much work. But I really love the front closure bra. It basically feels like I’m wearing a really comfortable sports bra. The only downside is that because its shape, it doesn’t work well with tank tops, a.k.a. a lot of my summer wardrobe.

Loving: Summer. I’m soaking up all of the summer adventures. We’ve already gotten a lot of time on the water and have a beach trip planned for the 4th. I always feel like summer flies by before I’ve had time to take advantage of it so I’m squeezing everything in.

What have you been up to this month?

Currently May


I do actually intend on using this space and writing blog posts, it’s just been off to slow start because life is a little crazy at the moment.

Watching: Ashely I. and Jared’s The Story of Us. For any other Bachelor fans out there, this is a must watch! Ashley I. and Jared are finally together. This video is long, but so sweet and so worth watching.

Reading: Criminal by Karin Slaughter. I love a good thriller/crime novel, and in my opinion Karin Slaughter can do no wrong. I’ve been tearing through her Will Trent series as fast as I can get them from my local library. This one isn’t my favorite, but I’m still enjoying it.

Listening: Young Adulting Podcast. The Stripe‘s Grace Atwood has teamed up with Becca Freeman for a weekly book club podcast. They alternate weeks between book discussions and advice. They focus on young adult books, which is a genre that I love, and I’ve loved listening to them discuss books.

Feeling: Excited. This Memorial Day Weekend is going to be packed with goat yoga Saturday and a family wedding Sunday. I’m equally looking forward to both!

Eating: Not dairy and wheat. I’d been having some stomach issues and after a visit to the doctor and lots of needles, I found out that I’m lactose intolerant and allergic to wheat. Since avoiding dairy and wheat over the last few weeks my stomach has felt so much better. But I do really miss cheese and bread.

Wearing: Carly Jean Los Angeles. I’m seriously obsessed! They have the perfect basics. And all of it is so soft and comfortable, even their denim! I started a no shopping year in February, and ordered a new pair of jeans from CJLA because mine all had holes in the crotch (so the original purchase was allowed). But I’ve made a couple subsequent purchases that were not allowed because their stuff is so good.

Loving: Overnight oats. Lately I’ve been making them with half a mashed banana, 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup almond milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder. I could literally eat it for every meal!

What have you been up to this month?

A Fresh Start

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you used to read XO Lauren Elizabeth. It started out as a blog that I love, but slowly became more about what I thought what get more views and less about what I actually enjoyed. When it stopped becoming fun, I eventually gave up on it altogether.

I decided not to keep any of my old posts and use this as a fresh start. A fresh domain name, a blank slate, a fresh blog. This time, it’s about me and what I want to write about. It’s not about fitting into a particular niche or writing the posts that I think people want to read. It’s about being authentic to myself and my interests and sharing myself and things I love with all of you.

So, welcome to Lauren E. Townsend and thanks for choosing to read along with me.