Curb Your Consumerism: Establish Confidence In Your Spending Habits

Hello Lovelies!

I have been inspired by the “de-influencing” trend on TikTok to chat specifically about the evolution of consumer culture and what we can do to navigate it and not let it consume us. This is neither a list of overrated products, nor is it a call to just consume less, but rather an examination of how trends influence our need for “stuff,” and shopping tips from within the industry designed to encourage mindful spending. Similar articles to consider include this one on finance for shopaholics!

A little background on me: when I first jumped into the influencer and retail industries, I convinced myself I had to maintain a specific lifestyle I saw online. Similar to the Stanley Cup and Drunk Elephant girlies of today, in 2018 I HAD to have Tatcha face cream, Free People waffle sweaters in every color, eyelash extensions, etc. and I was willing to go into debt for that lifestyle because I thought I needed that “stuff” to create content. It took me years to get out of that debt and a lot of learning to figure out what I truly valued materialistically and financially. I still consume a lot today and still consider myself a shopaholic, but I feel like now I have a better understanding of my own financial values regarding “stuff” and that has given me considerable peace in a consuming world.

If there is one thing I could influence you on forever, it is confidence. So below I have started this mini series with tips to build your shopping confidence! From knowing what’s worth it or not to finding better deals in a way that works for YOU and what you value.

Think Deeply About What Is Important To You

This seems like a given, but define what luxuries are negotiable and non-negotiable for you. For example, I do not value traveling for vacation. Hot take, but growing up I lived overseas and traveled to work or study and those experiences were so wonderful and amazing that it devalued “vacation” for me. I find there can be a lot of pressure in spending a large sum on travel, lodging, and activities for a specific time window. So, staycations or traveling to visit family sounds more appealing to me as I save in this category. Another category where I am comfortable spending more is in everyday luxuries like coffee or fresh flowers. These bills add up and sometimes I will make coffee at home or skip the bouquet, but this is one luxury that I value so I enjoy it when I can. Examine your favorite things, and simply creating a hierarchy of eating out, coffee, manicures, vacations, clothes, etc. can help you visualize how you want your budget to be divided and make financial planning less stressful.

What Feeling Are You Searching For

This is a big lesson I have learned since following the “de-influencing” trend on social media. I realized that plenty of my purchases were fueled by the desire or promise that I would FEEL complete, happy, organized, whatever just like how someone else seems to feel in the highlight reel of their feed. If I see a product I like, I save the information and see how long I can go before pulling the trigger – is the desire still there? But more importantly, is this something I need, is it something I just want (which is still a valid reason to buy something), or do I just think I will feel cool like that person? For me, I stopped viewing purchases as a way to model my life and emotions around someone else, and instead a way to add value to my life and what I already have. For example, last month I really wanted a Stanley cup because they look cool and aesthetic and I liked the features, but I remembered I already have a water bottle with a lot of the same features, just not the same brand and I realized the only value a Stanley cup would bring me is looking like other people. Ultimately, I decided the purchase just wasn’t important or valuable to me and what I already have, so examining the feeling that we attribute to product can help open our eyes to the bigger picture. Not only did I not need it, but I didn’t want it that badly either.

Learn To Budget Realistically

Strict budgets are no fun. If you are in a season of re-evaluating your finances, I highly recommend modeling your budget close to your current spending habits. Maybe have a realistic and an ideal budget for yourself to help you reach your spending goals in a way that makes sense for you. Another tactic that has worked for me is having budget ranges for certain categories. Maybe on your current budget you cannot exceed X dollars on restaurant food, but creating a budget of Y-X could motivate you to save a little more in that category without the pressure of meeting every goal every time.

Save Money By Understanding Marketing Strategy

I feel like this could be its own article itself, but there are so many specific ways to save money just by understanding how the retail industry works and what products are truly worth it. This topic also touches on “the feeling” again but just like with social media, marketing is about convincing you that you will feel however way if you just had x, y, AND z.

I have spoken about this in previous articles on major sales and seasonal shopping, and I feel like this statement below from years ago still fits how I feel about this:

“If I am speaking frankly I feel like people truly do not realize how much they are influenced. Being influenced is ok, but it is certainly difficult to know what you truly want or need when very specific products are all over your screens.”

Beyond this initial retail insight that products are strategically marketed to you, there is plenty of strategy to learn how to bypass the madness: from actually getting good deals to developing your taste and seeing consumerism without designer shades. Our next blog post, similar to the one linked above, will expand on specific retail industry tips on markup prices, sale trends, and manufacturing – so stay tuned and thank you for reading!



Be Delusional In 2023

Hello Lovelies!!

It is my FAVORITE time of year! Yes, I love the holiday season plus the cozy winter weather, but more importantly I love how this is the time for self-reflection and planning for the future! Since before the blog I have loved setting and organizing goals for the year, also see below for previous musings on goals and personal organization:

In recent years I have truly witnessed the power of goal setting, manifestation, and all the positive things that come with believing good things can happen. Last year I dreamt of becoming a full time blogger, and the year before I dreamt of affording our wedding, two BIG goals I had no idea how they would play out BUT THEY DID. So that is why for 2023 my mantra is “be delusional.” Dream the big dreams even if they seem wild; you would be surprised what amazing things can really happen if you put the idea out there!

Next year, Connor and I have plenty of big things already on the horizon with our daughter’s arrival and my new working situation, but here is a look at our goals and how we hope to make them happen! A lot of our goals together focus on the health of our baby, building our home and her nursery, budgeting as a family, and one of my favorite goals is our weekly date night! This was Con’s idea and I love how we have already developed inexpensive ways to keep dating through marriage and I am confident we can keep the tradition after baby is here.

As for my career goals, there are so many that are close to my heart! One goal from this past year that didn’t happen was in-person events. I want to create a fun way to bring online community together, and tbd on what that will look like in 2023. Other notable business goals include officially creating my LLC, establishing side hustles, and growing my team!

Next, This is the fun part! Once I have an idea of the goals that are really important to me, I head to Pinterest and make a whole mood board dedicated to all the things that are on my heart, but make it aesthetic! This year I searched nursery inspo, date night ideas, fashion merchandising, girl boss vibes, and other fun things that match how I feel about the upcoming year!

And that’s a look at how I plan/visualize goals for the new year! I hope this inspires you to be delusional in 2023, and I am excited to see what you can accomplish!



Creating A Capsule Wardrobe On A Budget

Hello Lovelies!!

Feels like a minute since we have done a style-focused blog post here! I have shared both how to build a capsule wardrobe and how to shop smarter with both sales and sustainable shopping, but today let’s chat how you can start your capsule wardrobe exclusively with budget-friendly pieces!

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All About Basics

Jeans and Tees! These are pieces for everyday wear that can also be dressed up anytime! My top denim under $100 is Levi’s, and you can find discounted jeans either second-hand or by shopping outlet! For tees I find that in-house brands do well to compete with luxury brands. One example is BP at Nordstrom with basic tees, bodysuits, etc anywhere from $12 to $20 or so.

Staple Pieces

These are a few things I recommend for any wardrobe, and they just make life interesting! Some of these are perfect to mix and match and others are great to stand alone! My recommendations include a slip dress, a work appropriate dress, non-denim pants, a silk, crepe, or chiffon blouse, and anything else that can mix and match into the color palette!


As a plus size person this can be a challenging clothing category to find something that zips or buttons, but here are a few recommendations at a variety of sizes! I highly recommend including a trench coat first and then a pea coat followed by other basics like jackets and parkas!


This one is fun! Start with sneakers and booties, and then graduate to heels or whatever your heart desires!

And that is how you can start your capsule wardrobe on a budget with pieces that will last at a variety of price points! Stay tuned for more style content including fun sweater styles and size inclusive outerwear!



Going Full Time

Hello Lovelies!

I have been officially blogging full time for 2 months now! So I thought I could share with you what lead to this moment and how I plan to position my business for the future!

Developing Your Brand

SO MUCH led up to the moment I decided to work for myself, and the archives of this blog paint that picture. I started my brand back in 2018 while still in college, writing lifestyle content, shooting outfit photos, and sharing my life from school to adulthood, dating, faith, marriage, and now motherhood! If you have been here the whole time you know there is A LOT going on here.

From the beginning I wanted to share my story, especially my struggles with body image and food. Through fashion and styling I have been able to focus my message on one important thing: your body and how you have been treated doesn’t prevent you from feeling beautiful and being the best version of yourself.

About 6 months into writing I named my blog She Laughs! This phrase is based on Proverbs 31:25 and to me, She Laughs embodies the idea that life should be lived without fear and rather joy. You are a gift; today is a gift, and I hope you enjoy it!

Evaluating Finances

The finances are probably the biggest factor in deciding to be your own boss. For me, I first considered going full time back in March this year when I had one month of blog income that surpassed the income I had with my day job. I quickly ignored that thought in my head because while I was reaching some smaller goals with my business, those “good months” as I call them were still too sporadic. At the time the idea of holding onto predictable income seemed like the smart thing to do.

And then I didn’t have to make the leap! In July I was laid off from that corporate job and within a minute I knew this was the sign I needed to go full time. I had hoped to have a more stable financial picture, but the past few months of planning and strategizing campaigns and other projects has me significantly more hopeful for our future!

So that is the full tea on how this happened! Yes this is what I wanted, but I really do not know if I would have felt “ready” without that push!

Making It Official

Beyond generating sufficient income, so much more goes into building a business. Two big things I am currently working on include setting up my taxes and creating an LLC. Taxes can be daunting to diy but for a lot of bloggers it is “easy” (obviously not actually easy) to go the same route as any freelancer! Personally I am starting quarterly taxes once all the details are set up, and stay tuned for that official LLC!

Finding Help For The Long Haul

One big goal I have is to develop a team or create connections in order to grow in various areas of my business. It is so cool to see content creators with either management, assistants, or editors and I am really excited to grow to a point where I can expand the work I offer!

So all that is to say, this took a long time, did not happen how I expected, and stay tuned for all the new fun here!



Personal Styling 201: Incorporating Unique Pieces Into Your Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Lovelies!!

With the fall season quickly approaching, now is a great time to reevaluate your wardrobe! In previous blog posts, I have shared how you can develop a capsule wardrobe, but today is all about how you can take that a step further, adding in pieces that are unique to you.

First, Identify Your Style

Find keywords to describe what you wear, or what you want to wear. For me, I like to describe my style as both extra and versatile. Extra, meaning I love statement pieces (ruffles, feathers, even sequins – the kinds of items that become the whole focus of an outfit) and Versatile, meaning I like pieces that have multiple purposes and can be comfy while dressed up or casual while refined.

Identify your keywords, then the next time you shop look for pieces that fit that description!

Next, Find Items That Speak To Your Story

Shopping unconfidently can create a bad habit for buying clothes you don’t fully like – from jeans you hope to squeeze into to a dress you never bothered to alter. Instead of seeing shopping as either a chore or an opportunity to spend, remind yourself that now that your capsule wardrobe is complete, you don’t need anything unless it truly speaks to you. Be ruthless with your criteria and only bring home something that captures the style and narrative you want.

Put It All Together!

As you begin to collect different pieces, this will add more color to your capsule wardrobe and give you a new picture to your total personal style. Now that I have both capsule and non-capsule pieces, I am able to see what fabrics, silhouettes, colors, etc I gravitate towards, and work with that to find what feels the most me!



The Skincare Routine That Calmed My Rosacea

Hello Lovelies!

I have always had rosy cheeks and would avoid normal blush while applying all the color corrector, but since this spring, I have been working to actually heal my rosacea acne rather than ignore it and cover it up. I am not completely certain what caused my most recent flare up, though a likely culprit is finally going off of birth control. In April, I had a skin reaction that was SO BAD my skin refused to take any moisturizer or makeup – it’s hard to explain but my skin got so raw and sensitive that nothing worked.

Any time you are in a skin crisis, evaluate EVERYTHING you are using – which is what I did at the time, removing every step of my routine and replacing them with sensitive-safe ingredients to calm my skin. So, let’s get into my 10 current favorite products and how I use them!

1. Best Skin Ever – Sea Buckthorn

This one is probably the simplest to use which is why I make it my entire morning 1 step routine! It is a cleaner/moisturizer, but simply it is Jojoba oil (great for redness) and other oily goodness I use to rinse my face in the morning. This is like a super gentle cleanse that maintains skin’s natural moisture, and I love how it won’t irritate my skin prior to makeup application. It truly is that simple!

2. Tower28 SOS Spray

I have this one on me all day! I originally started using to prevent maskne during long days with a mask on, but now it is my favorite toner for during my skincare routine and when I need a refresh throughout the day!

3. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Holy grail!! I have used this since their launch in 2018, and I love it for so many uses from eye cream to overnight mask to after-sun cream. It is packed with niacinamide which I prefer over hyaluronic acid .

4. Biossance Gentle Squalene Cleanser

I have heard good things about squalene for rosacea, and with sensitive skin I want a cleanser that will not strip the natural barrier I have on my skin. This product I have only been trying for a few weeks but so far so good!

5. YTTP Vitamin C + Caffeine Serum

Vitamin C is tricky with rosacea as it is a chemical exfoliant. When I use this sparingly its like an instant glow, but I will only use it once or twice a week to avoid irritation from overuse.

6. The Ordinary Lactic Acid Serum

This is a new product for me but I am adding it to the list as it is amazing in combination with azelaic acid below – a power couple for rosacea because the lactic acid will gently exfoliate and the azelaic acid works to dry out acne and get to the source of redness.

7. The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution

Made popular on TikTok, this mask is a relatively gentle form of AHA for me. I only use it for 5 min maybe once a week and it neutralizes little bumps and uneven texture without making my skin red!

8. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Moisturizer

As mentioned above, I am honestly seeing the most significant results with this product. The only thing I have to look out for is it does dry your skin so I typically follow up with Jet Lag Mask or Jojoba oil

9. Farmacy Beauty Honey Mask

Moisture and antioxidants! I love this one for instant hydration and cleansing before an important event – and the honey has so many good natural benefits for your skin for free radicals and dryness.

10. Dr Jart Cicapair Overnight Mask

Love the Cicapair line but my current obsession is the overnight mask! This is perfect for slugging but with added ingredients to soothe inflamed skin.

And that is everything that has worked so far! I am still a few weeks into my rosacea journey so hoping my skin still cooperates with this products for the rest of the summer. Thank you for reading!



Add Character To Your Home On A Budget

Hello Lovelies!

Now that we are (almost) fully settled in our new home, let’s do a little tour of some of our home favs! Since a lot of our home style is functional, budget based, we are going to focus on how you can make a space look fun and unique for way less!

First off, right when you enter, we want a spot that would be easy to leave items but also aesthetically pleasing for guest! This is where you can touch up your lipstick and drop your keys!

Both the table and the mirror were online finds at Amazon and Target!

Our bedroom! The main thing I still may change is the bed frame – it is sturdy and tall but we may want something with more character. The main things I love in this room that are budget friendly are: the Home Goods lamps, the Urban Outfitters sheets (that remind me of my wedding dress!!), and the Amazon clothing rack to make selecting outfits way easier!

Getting their own spotlight is our beautiful custom dressers! These were vintage finds hand painted the perfect color: Lichen. We were able to do the whole project through Dresser Up Vintage across the river in Kentucky but if you are not in the area I also found similar companies that ship on Etsy!

In the office we have this collage that brings the room to life! The whole set is by Tezza and she has many more vibes to choose from for collage kits!

And lastly, our little bar cart situation has me so excited! We didn’t know what to do with this corner and now it makes so much sense! This cart was a Facebook marketplace find but it is also at Target! I had wanted another one that was over 700 but I am glad I went with this guy and the size is perfect!

Thank you for taking the time to check out our home with us, and stay tuned for more regular content from She Laughs!



Friendship Breakups: The Real Heartbreak

Hello Lovelies,

It has been a while since I have consistently written here, and the main reason why is I keep contemplating this article. Several months ago a friendship I thought would last into old age crumbled.

Losing a friendship, like a best friend, honestly hurts more than losing a partner or significant other. They probably aren’t the person you thought to marry or raise children with, but they were the person who played “wedding” with you when you were five. They were the person who dialed prank calls to your crush for you, or who put together your 21st birthday party. This friend is the one who was on your wedding party list and who you envisioned seeing for multigenerational play dates, and hopefully, the person you would play Bridge with in your final years.

When a foundation like that, that seems so sturdy having lasted through various seasons and built on your favorite memories, is simply no longer there, you are also broken.

Growing up I was always the type of person to have no more than one or two good friends at a time. Groups were rarely my thing, friendships usually took their time to grow, but I like to say I always mated for life. When I moved for college, I set out on a mission to have a well rounded social life with friends corresponding to whatever group or activity I liked. I have mentioned this in previous blog posts but long story short the desire to do everything and meet everyone led me to stretch myself way too thin and it ultimately affected my overall experience.

So back to the whole “mating for life” thing: I got that phrase from an episode of Greys Anatomy describing Cristina Yang, and for anyone who knows Sandra Oh’s character, that is how I am as a close friend. I do not need many friends, I serve a more supporting role, and I show respect by simply being there. (Or so I think.)

Maybe this is why friendship breakups hit me the way that they do. I am the type of person who takes relationships seriously and is very deliberate in expressing my energy and when that is not matched I feel lost.

Years ago, the first time I saw a friendship end, this person cut contact with me and many other people they knew citing “toxicity” as their only reason. At first I was deeply offended to be considered “toxic” but later I realized that “toxicity” in a friendship does not necessarily one or both parties is “bad,” it can simply mean the relationship is not beneficial to at least one of them. So, with that in mind, I went on a mini journey last year to detox my life and that led me to the breakup I think about now.

There were elements of the relationship I knew were hurting me, but I struggled to address them with myself and within the relationship. Before the end I wondered if boundaries would help what I was feeling, or maybe I could accept the relationship as a friendship only meant to last a certain season, and that would be ok. We all have those kinds of friendships, that did not end negatively, where you simply live different lives but still care about each other from afar. So that is what hurt the most: the fact that I saw this friendship developing into Christmas Cards and Facebook likes rather than pretending to be strangers.

If you got anything out of this article, cherish your friends, accept when a relationship only lasts a season or two, do not ghost, and stay tuned for an upcoming article on healthy friendships!



Cincy Spotlight: Creative Indoor Content With The Neat Suites

This blog post is sponsored by The Neat Suites. Thank you to their team for hosting me!

Hello Lovelies!

With the unpredictable late winter/early spring weather, I have been looking for new creative ways to shoot outfit content without needing to venture out into the cold. So, This past weekend Con and I got to do a mini staycation at The Neat Suites where I batch-shot a ton of content for upcoming campaigns!

Unique Indoor Photo Locations

We stayed at the Pickle Factory Hotel, the cutest small getaway with a variety of unique and interesting themed rooms, perfect for any aesthetic!

This is the perfect way to combine the popular staycation idea with a fun solution for many content creators. You can start your stay with indoor shoots, utilizing every picturesque corner, and then end the night with some relaxation! With a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area, you can get almost all the lifestyle content you need all inside. When we stayed at the Neon room in the Pickle Factory Hotel, it actually started to downpour right when we got in – so you could say that is perfect timing!

The Kitchen

Possibly my favorite space with all the cute detail! And even in a small, Skandanavian-inspired space there are still plenty of features and necessities for your stay.

Living Area

All the neon light dreams here! Con and I cozied up on the couch to catch up on our favorite shows from the week for the perfect night in – not pictured: all the fun snacks!

Bedroom and Bathroom

I especially loved the adorable bathroom setup, perfect for skincare flatlays and other beauty content. Also the whole studio was set up with the best indoor lighting!

And the Pickle Factory is not the only space perfect for a staycation photo shoot! So, if you are looking for Cincy lodging, a staycation destination, or a killer photoshoot location, book with The Neat Suites here!



December Bucket List

Hello Lovelies!!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! For Con and I, this is our first Thanksgiving as a married couple so we decided to create some of our own traditions in Cincy! We even tried out a new restaurant that hosted a turkey dinner, but then they ran out of turkey! With plenty of food and plenty to be thankful for, we spent much of the weekend practicing gratitude and remembering all the good that has happened in 2021.

Now that it is officially December, we have one more month to make this an amazing year and soon it will be winter (my favorite season btw)!! So, if you are looking for fun activities to get into the holiday/winter spirit, here are a few ideas! I’m titling this the “bucket list” because I hope Con and I experience each of these together this year!

Send Out Christmas Cards

This year we actually didn’t have time to put a typical card together, but we are sending our close friends notes in the mail for the season! Whether you are the type to go out and take portraits for a card to send out or not, I highly recommend finding a way to let your loved ones know you are thinking of them this season!

Get Creative With Handmade Presents

This is one of my favorite things! Rather than hit the mall for the people on my list, I like to get more personal and pick out gifts that fit their personalities – like buying gift card for experiences like spas or skydiving, arranging a basket of their favorite things, or whatever they love that isn’t normally at a department store!

Go Ice Skating

Ok I had to put something basic in here! One of my favorite date ideas is skating during the season, so if you are looking for something new or keeping up the tradition, get on the ice!

Spend A Day Focused On Gratitude

Yes, we just had Thanksgiving, but a new tradition for Con and I is setting aside time to thank people in our lives with cards or messages! This could also be a good time for simple reflection on the year focusing on just good things!

Go To A Local Holiday Event

See your town light up the local tree or find an open mic on a cozy night! The holiday season is the perfect time for local events especially for groups!

Find Easy Ways To Decorate Your Space

Living in a small apartment it can be hard to put up/store excessive decor, so this year we decided to put ornaments on our plants! Kind of a weird idea but if you want low-maintenance ways of getting festive try small trees or recyclable/storable decor like paper snowflakes!

Start A New Tradition

This may be a challenge but whether you are single, in a relationship, or have a family of your own – a great way to make this season special for you is to find things that make you happy and help you get in the spirit! A number of traditions I started for myself before meeting Con I still include today – like certain parties, baking specific dishes, or watching the same movies! Whether you are young or old, anytime is a good time to start a new tradition, especially if it gets you into that positive spirit!


This is my favorite part of this season. As you know from previous posts, I love recycling and clearing out my closet regularly so the holidays is a great time to get a donation collection together. If not personal items you can also participate in canned food drives or volunteer to facilitate all the many donations going on in your area!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned on the blog for fun upcoming content including size inclusivity with winter sports, gift guides, New Years goals, and more!