best of july

July went by SO fast, I still can't believe it! I've been living in PA for a month now, which is an equally unbelievable concept. July was a fun month for lark & lace. I'm finally starting to fall into a rhythm and now blogging is just a part of my day like brushing my teeth or taking my wheatgrass shot. Here is an overview of a few of my favorite posts from July:

I made it a point this month to carry my camera everywhere and to capture things that I would normally look right over. I was pleased with the results and I'm definitely glad that I was able to make a habit out of it! My "Happy Fourth" and "The Real Jersey Shore" are examples of this. I also set out to create my first (of hopefully many) photoshop tutorial, on how to create fake light leaks.

July was also full of experimenting with new recipes. Two of my favorites were my banana ice cream and these kale chips

It was a particularly exciting month for my photography business because of all of the weddings! Here's some shots from Melinda and Shaun's wedding and a preview of Rachel and Kurt's wedding

I've never been a big fan of summer fashion but thanks to some recent weight-loss, I enjoyed wearing some fun outfits this month on vacation. Check out the dress and the pants outfit! Also check out Jenna's awesome Waterfall Braids tutorial.

Whew! What a busy month. I'm excited to see what August has in store! I also can't wait to get some of these home projects out of the way so I can finally share some photos of the new house!

xo, e.m.

just had to share:

I've been doing a little planning for China lately, which has been unbelievably exciting. I thought that I was excited the first time that I went but that is absolutely nothing compared to now! I'm excited to see the kids again, especially a couple that I got close to during my last short visit. To raise awareness and to try to help raise some funds for my team and for the orphanage itself, I'm going to be making a collection of short videos between now and December. This one here is the first and simplest of the bunch. You can read and find out more more about the orphanage here.

xo, e.m.

cookie smoothie

Don't let all of my healthy recipes fool you. I have quite the sweet tooth. I do a good job of not giving in but sometimes you just have to indulge a little! I love smoothies and I love cookies, therefore this is one of my favorite concoctions to date. All you need is a cookie of your choice, (I chose Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's because they're made without dairy and eggs and they're delicious,) milk of your choice (I used unsweetened Almond Milk) and a banana. (A very ripe one works best!) 

I blended the milk and the banana together until smooth and then I crumbled the cookies in before blending again. Add another cookie for garnish (and because cookies make the world go 'round.) and enjoy! It's not the healthiest breakfast or snack ever but you certainly won't regret it!

xo, e.m.

lazy sundays

 Sundays. I love them, especially an overcast Sunday like today. The transition from Sunday Best to pajamas is one of the greatest feelings ever. It's days like this when I just enjoy sitting on my bed surrounded by books, learning a little, and maybe taking a little nap. There is nothing better! How do you all spend your lazy Sundays?

xo, e.m.

this week in instagrams

Well, well, well. What a week! It was a good one, but to be honest, I'm having one of those days/nights when I'm just feeling bummed about everything possible. You know how they go. They usually happen around birthdays or major events when you realize that you're getting older and it's scary! There's heavy stuff going on, and I guess along with settling in to my new home and my new life, I've had more time to think and process the heavy stuff and it's definitely a little bit overwhelming. Just gotta keep my head high and my eyes on my goals, which I why I'm forever thankful for having you guys to keep me accountable. You're all the best! Now I believe it's time for bed. There are some pretty crazy thunderstorms here tonight and I'm going to let them sing me to sleep.

xo, e.m.

things i like: bloggers

One of my favorite things about being plugged in to the "blogopshere"is finding new blogs and making new friends along the way. There is definitely strength in numbers and here are some of the few brilliant minds that I surround myself with:

Blythe Ponytail Parades: Violet is the world's biggest sweetheart. I love reading her blog because it's splattered with her bubbly personality and her daily posts always bring a smile to my face. Check out her blog and her photography, they're both phenomenal!

Tiny Sea: Wendy is another sweetheart. I've been getting to know her over the past few months and her creativity is refreshing! She has quite an eye for color and is a brilliant designer. She also makes me want to take up knitting. Maybe this fall?

 Color Issue: Aarean is a beautiful girl and another talented user of color. Her blog continues to inspire me to find the beauty in everyday life. Also, aren't her maternity pictures precious?

Alley Cats & Rough Drafts: This is my best friend's blog. It's a new adventure for her and I can't wait to see what she has in store. She constantly keeps me on my toes in terms of fashion and music and all things cultural so I'm excited to see what she does with her blog!

Pretty Little Fawn: Courtney is so cute! I love all of her outfits, they're all bold yet still classy.

Petite Biet: As you guys know, I love New York City and hope to live there someday, so that means that I am living vicariously through Belle and her beautiful blog.

Just a Clare: I just love Clare. She has this beautiful transparency to her writing that challenges me to be more open on my blog as well as with my loved ones. I don't know her too well but she just seems to be a genuinely kind person. I look forward to her honest updates.

Dreams and Dresses: Laura is so adorable! Her daily fashions are as cute as they are functional. I find myself browsing her site when I'm looking for some clothing inspiration. 

xo, e.m.

settling in

Things are finally getting settled in after a few long months of craziness around here. I never realized how much I took familiarity and comfort for granted until today when I looked back on all of the changes over the past month or so. Now that this new house is finally becoming a home, I can focus on my goals, of which there are many. Here are a few things that I'm working on:

 Beautifying everyday life: It's so much easier to stay inspired when you're in an organized space that's full of things that you love. I've been striving to create a world around me consisting of things that please my eye and that will make me want to create even more. Once I get in a creative mood, there is no stopping me! However, it's getting to that point that's the hard part.

Running: As you may or may not know, my New Years resolution this year was to look and feel as great as I can be. I went vegan at the beginning of the year and I've been slowly losing weight since May. I'm 20 down! I have about 15 more to go but I'm in no rush to lose it. I'm more interested in being able to run a marathon and to be in shape for the upcoming soccer season. Let me tell you, for someone like me (bad asthma and general out-of-shape'ness), it is NOT easy, but it is a great release! I can't wait to get better.

Reading: I've always been a big reader but I want to get even more into it. I tend to find myself surfing the web and such in my down time when I should be doing something to keep my mind sharp and my imagination on the top of its game. I have this lovely wall of shelves full of a lot of reading, that seems like a good place to start, right?

Discovering new music: There was a time in my life when I was constantly exploring and finding new music to know and love. Somewhere between now and then, my life got busy and I got a little complacent. I don't want to spend too much time on this but if I can find a new band or artist once a week or so, it would help to drive out that complacency that tends to spread to all other aspects of life.

Spending more time with my sister: Jenna is the coolest 14-year-old that I know. We were never super close until recently when the move brought us together. We're like peanut butter and jelly, which is good because we're planning on being business partners someday!

xo, e.m.

Those 70's Pants

I'm not a big "wearer of pants" but when I saw these, I felt my heart leap. All of the breeziness and flattery of a dress with the added ability to climb on rocks and run on the beach without the risk of having an "unladylike" situation. It was a win/win for me! I'm not even sure what to call them other than maybe "70's pants" but whatever they are, you should definitely try them.xo, e.m.pants, knit top, necklace, bracelet, sunnies/ Target (if you couldn't tell from my last two posts, Target has awesome stuff this season.) ring/ H&M, shoes/ DSW 

summer is for dresses

Summer means dresses every day and today was certainly no exception-- it was a hot one. Still beautiful though, look at that view! Nothing beats waking up to the smell of salt air, pouring some coffee, walking out to the balcony, and spending the morning people-watching. I've been seeing a lot of interesting things, to say the least! I'm currently watching someone parasailing over the ocean and thinking that I might want to do that at some point. Might be too mild for me, I think I'd rather do something like skydiving or bungee jumping. What do you guys think? xo, e.m.dress/sunnies/bag: Target, clogs: American Eagle Outfitters, necklace: gifted, bracelet: thrifted, earrings/rings: H&M

the real jersey shore

Growing up in New Jersey and spending a great deal of time "down the shore," (as the locals would say) I can't help but to be a little irritated at all of the Jersey Shore stereotypes being portrayed nowadays. It's nothing like that, I promise! Okay, maybe in North Jersey. But here in beautiful South Jersey, it's truly lovely. Okay maybe it's a little crowded for my taste. And maybe a little too commercialized. And possibly a little loud. Okay so it's not the greatest place on earth but it's nice and nothing like the TV show! I love the ocean and I love spending time with my family, so that's all I need. There's a rumor going around that one of these restaurants on the boardwalk serves a mean banana whip, so if you'll excuse me, I'm going exploring.  
xo, e.m.