about lauren

greetings from Lauren at The Thinking Closet

Hi, I’m Lauren, and I am thrilled that you stopped by my corner of blogland.  Need photographic evidence of how happy I am about it?  Okay, you asked for it:

Catching Air at Yellowstone National Park | Lauren of The Thinking Closet

Catching air.  Now, that’s pretty happy.

The Thinking Closet is a space designated for letting creativity splish, splash, and spill.  As the saying goes, “Creativity is messy, and I’m very creative!”  So, I hope you’ll join me in making a mess!  Here, you’ll find everything from crafts to Silhouette creations to blogging tips.  If it can be made with your hands, I’m all over it like white on rice.

Fun Facts about Lauren | The Thinking Closet

I turned 31 in March of 2014, and my hubby and I are putting down roots in Orlando, Florida.  We live on a lake surrounded by old oak and cyprus trees.  We love to get out on the water in our sailboat or jon-boat…but rumors of a baby alligator inhabiting our lake will keep me from ever taking a dip.  (Eek!)  You’ll catch glimpses of our flora and fauna in the background of my photos.  Like this one where I wore my burlap Christmas tree skirt as a bird costume.

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

The most beautiful place I have ever been is Sicily, Italy.  I’m determined to get back there someday.  My soul is at peace with my toes digging into sand at the beach, and I have always wanted to live in a place surrounded by mountains.  I’m an outgoing-introvert, a procrastinator-perfectionist, and I get crazy competitive in sports…especially field hockey.  I have probably eaten more raw cookie dough in my life than one should ever admit [so, I won’t]…often while watching Project Runway or crying during Downton Abbey.  Some of my favorite things include: spontaneous dance parties with my girlfriends, road trips, No Doubt, warm bread, blue mason jars, used bookstores, musical theatre, and board games.  I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as a wee lass of five-years-old…and it was the best decision I ever made.  I’m an older sister to one of the most amazing women I know, and I married a man who makes me laugh every day.  In fact, let’s talk about him for a spell!

my co-adventurer | The Thinking Closet

My husband’s name is Mark, and he is many things, but a few include sailor-surfer-photographer-doctor.  I won’t gush our entire love story here…but here are a few highlights:

  • We met at Wheaton College (IL) in Romantic Literature class of all places back in 2002.  Leave it to Keats, Shelly, and Blake to plant the seeds of romance in our hearts.
  • We reconnected years later over handy dandy Facebook.  It was Christmas Eve 2007.
  • Our entire dating relationship was long distance with most of our correspondence being through written letters.  We now store them in an old trunk from 1867.
  • We got hitched on July, 18th 2009 before God, our nearest and dearest, and the Atlantic Ocean in Long Branch, New Jersey.  It was one rockin’ party.  Here we are under the pier:

Mark & Lauren's Wedding Day | The Thinking Closet

Mark calms me down when I freak out…he gives me hugs just because…and he’s my buddy for life.  I’m one thankful chick.

Oh, and I must say that he packs a mean stack of crates atop the car, so he certainly knows how to keep this crafty girl happy!

Wood Pallet Sign Tutorial via The Thinking Closet

New York Born & Bred | The Thinking Closet

I grew up in New York–a hop, skip, and a jump from the city–where I feasted on Sal’s pizza, saw Broadway shows, and learned how to pronounce water as “wudder.”  However, watching movies and studying theatre has erased most of my accent…that is until I get excited and “tawk really fayst while sippin’ cawfee.”

Train Time | Lauren of The Thinking Closet

I took this train into Manhattan more times than I can recall!

My childhood was full of creativity.  In fact, my earliest memories of creating happened in a space I called The Thinking Closet.  It was a walk-in closet the perfect size for a little girl to crawl into, pull out her wallpaper sample books, and start cutting and gluing.  My parents always encouraged us to create – – whether it be performing musicals in our backyard with the neighborhood kids or creating photo collages to give as Christmas gifts.  I’d argue that the best things in life are free handmade.

Bedazzler | The Thinking Closet

My Love Affair with Theatre | The Thinking Closet

Theatre is part of my D.N.A.  My Grandma Aileen played the piano and sang show tunes with her sister well into her eighties.  My Pop Pop was an actor and playwright prior to becoming a pastor and missionary.  My parents raised my sister and me on Fred Astaire movies and took us to high school musical productions every chance they could get.  So, it’s no wonder that I caught the theatre bug at such a young age.

Into the Woods | The Thinking Closet

After college, I felt my calling not to just perform theatre, but to teach it.  So, I pursued my Master’s in Educational Theatre & English Education at New York University.  It was the perfect degree for nurturing my passion for helping young people find their voice both on the stage as actors and on the page as writers.  After graduating, I taught freshman English and high school theatre for three years in Columbus, Ohio.  Since moving to Orlando, Florida, I teach and direct theatre part-time.  There is little that excites me more than seeing a student take a risk in his writing or on stage in performance.

Here I am hamming it up while giving notes to my actors at musical rehearsal for Once Upon a Mattress:

Director Lauren | The Thinking Closet

Why I Blog | The Thinking Closet

Since moving to Orlando in summer of 2012 and transitioning from teaching upwards of 80 hours a week to teaching part-time, I decided to start a blog.  The Thinking Closet was born on September 6th, 2012 as a way to share some of my creative projects with friends and family…and to jumpstart my writing.  And what an incredible journey it has been!  Blogging has been such an unexpected gift in how it has rejuvenated me creatively and also in how it has introduced me to a whole community of women who inspire and encourage me on a daily basis.  So, thank you dear reader, for coming along for the ride.  You make this work worthwhile.

Where to Go From Here | The Thinking Closet

If you’d like to know more about my crazy quirks, check out my post, “It’s a Major Award.”  As well as my 31 Questions Birthday Video!

The best ways to connect with me are through the comments on my blog posts; I do my best to respond to each and every one.  You can reach me by email at thethinkingcloset {at} gmail.com or follow along with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, & Instagram.

To receive post updates by email, sign up here.  Or you can receive post updates via Bloglovin’ or R.S.S. feed.

First time visitor?  Check out these posts:

Reader Faves | The Thinking Closet

posts i loved writing | The Thinking Closet

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble, but take heart.  I have overcome the world.”

-My favorite Bible verse: John 16:33

Lovely comments so far...

      • Sue eom says

        Hey , Lauren! I was so impressed your blog. My business deal was with fashion industry, so I am thrilled by the fact that you are using all your personal interests, knowledge, and your Christian love in this thing. I don’t know what all of this leads to. You may become another Martha Stewart. God bless your new venture and do not be discouraged to be brave. Keep it up. You need me, let me know. Love Sue Eom.

  1. says

    So fun to read about who you are now and what you’re doing. I’ve followed you thru’ Mom’s C’mas letters and FB postings through school years, many activities, wedding and now to new wife. Had missed the move to FL from OH, tho’. It’s such a delight to know a little of the many transitions. I often re-delight in seeing pix from our day in Sedona and in remembering meeting up with your fam @ an evening campsite in PA! God is all-the-time-Good, and I thank him just about *daily* for the gift of MEMORY. Blessings to you, Lauren! :)

    • says

      Amen! Great to hear from you, Carlene! It’s neat how the gift of internet has allowed us to stay in the loop on things like transitions; another reunion in Sedona would be lovely, though, wouldn’t it? 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

  2. says

    Great site, especially for one so new. I am amazed….as I am also in your shoes and just began getting serious about blogging in Sept. You are leaps and bounds ahead of me in figuring out this world….congrats to you. I’ve really enjoyed your site.

    • says

      I’m definitely figuring it all out as I go; it feels like I tweak something here or there almost every day! I actually visited your blog, and I’m impressed by how frequently you post! You also write from the heart. Thanks for the kind words and visit. Happy blogging!

  3. says

    Lauren, you are truly sweet. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog! You are an amazing writer and have done some great projects! And it is obvious you are well loved already by many!

    In reference to my blog design, my friend who blogs, designed it for me. She did an amazing job! Her name is Iuliana and she blogs over at: http://www.hip2thrift.com/ I am sure she would love to hear your nice comments about my blog directly from you, if you get a moment! It would make her day!

    I am excited to be following you in google+!

    • says

      Thanks, Jessica! I’ve already met so many neat new bloggers through that lil mixer…and now thanks to your sweet comment, I can stop over your site to get to know you even better. Hooray!

  4. says

    Hi Lauren! I just wanted to say thanks for linking up to my special About Me Pity Party last week. I loved reading about you! I want a sailboat!! How fun.

    • says

      Wow, Hannah! I’m so touched. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And many congratulations on your first star! I’d give you your other five if the rules allowed it…you are certainly deserving. So happy to have “met” you in 2012…and looking forward to all that’s to come in the new year! Merry Christmas.

  5. says

    Hello sweet girl! I’m glad to finally have found your space here and look forward to exploring. :) Thanks for popping by my place. Hugs to you!

    • says

      Lacy! So happy to see you here. It was a joy to “stumble” upon your treasure of a blog earlier today through Facebook. I’m so glad to know you have found a community of support in blogland. Isn’t it incredible? Looking forward to staying in the loop on your musings and adventurings over at Some Smiths. Following you in bloglovin’!

    • says

      Oh wow! That boat is beautiful. Mark is the real sailor in the family. I’m just his first mate and operate the jib. He has a 14′ O’day Javelin, and we try to get out there on the lake whenever the winds pick up. It’s oh so peaceful.

  6. Lori Peck says

    I will be helping my cousin with her blog very soon. I know absolutely nothing about blogging, so your post is very helpful. Her about page is kinda private now, but I did encourage her to show a little more of herself. We both have a lot to learn!! I love your blog and will check back often…….

    • says

      Thanks, Lori! Do you have a blog, too? I’m sure your cousin will very much appreciate having a buddy to help her make some changes. It really does help to have a second set of eyes. I think what I’m learning is that people are drawn not to blogs so much as the people behind the blogs (at least I am)…so I think that About page is a real opportunity to put ourselves out there. Looking forward to sitting down and revamping mine in the coming weeks.

    • says

      Tiffany! So glad you stopped by! And thanks for the comment. I caught a quick glimpse at your photography blog, and girl, you’ve got skills! I’m so impressed. I’m going to add your blog to the list of blogs I follow in bloglovin’ so I can stay in the loop on all of your happenings. Cheers!

  7. says

    I’ve been absent in a blog world so had to come back and oh my, your blog looks fantastic and the about me page is so lovely. I had a smile the whole time I was reading about you. You are fun! Miss your blog, but I think I’m back now with my full attention to all my wonderful blogs I follow. P.S. me and my husband had a distant beginning of our relationships for over a year (with small breaks of personal visitations) …it was hard, but what a romantic story to tell to the kids in the future :)

    • says

      Marina! So glad to hear that you’re back in action. Just came back from a visit to your blog…what a treat! (I love the photo of you on the trampoline on your about page…and when I went to leave you a comment, I saw I had already left you a comment there back in November! Ha ha.) Also, it’s fun to hear what we share in common, such as the experience of long-distance dating. Although it was tough at the time, I really think it helped build a firm foundation for our relationship. If you can survive long-distance, that’s sayin’ something, right?!

      Great to hear from you again.

  8. says

    Lauren!! Erin here from the NYU Ed-Theater program circa 2006-2009—I cannot believe I found your blog! I just happen to click on this link on Pugel Pixel and there you were (http://blog.puglypixel.com/2013/04/06/launched-no-3/) LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. So happy for you that you seem settled and totally happy in Florida. What a thrill to find an ed-theater connection in the blog-sphere. You have a new fan :) xo Erin

    • says

      Erin! So great to hear from you, girl. How crazy is it that you ended up on my blog from pugly pixel and recognized me! I just visited your beautiful blog and am in awe of your artistry in design and the culinary arts! Absolutely stunning (and yummy-licious). And it sounds like you are livin’ the life as a Food Editor. I can tell that you are great at what you do. Following along with your pins and instagrams, so I can stay in the loop on all of your happenings. Thanks for saying hi, friend!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’m so glad to hear that, Mish! It continually brings me comfort and let’s the worrier in me heave a sigh of relief. God is in control, and therefore, all is well.

  9. says

    Lauren, I truly believe you were meant to be a blogger. You are such a tremendous writer! Your fun, vibrant, and genuine personality shines through your writing. I’m so so glad I found your blog! I especially enjoyed reading about you and your co-adventurer 😉 So cute! I turned 30 this April and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me. I’ve been meditating on that verse everyday since last month…I WILL have trouble..but I will take heart as my Lord has overcome the world! Thank you, Jesus!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Min, I am so encouraged by this comment! Thank you, friend. I have absolutely fallen head-over-heels in love with all things blogging, and it’s mostly for the interactions I get to have with amazing women out there like your sweet self. And how fun that we’re so close to the same age! I really do believe that the best is yet to come, and that while troubles undoubtedly lie ahead, we can rest in the knowledge that our God is a good God and that He will make our paths straight! We can trust in that.

  10. says

    A few months ago I found your blog and Gabby’s over at Essentially Eclectic. Not having a blog at the time but beginning to think about starting one I was too “intimidated” to leave a comment on either site. I bookmarked you both and visited from time to time. Your fun, witty approach to everything, the encouragement you share as well as the network of amazing people you’ve built were a huge inspiration to me. I just wanted to say thank you. I took the leap and started my blog last month. I’m having a blast. I still have so much work left to do. I’m adding a blogroll page today and wanted to let you know I’ve put The Thinking Closet on my list. I hope you’ll stop over for a visit sometime.
    Your new bloggy friend,

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Wendi! First of all, thanks for following along. I can understand feeling intimidated to leave a comment…it took me years before I was comfortable enough to speak up in class, let alone in front of the world wide web! 😉 But you are among friends here and at Essentially Eclectic (I feel confident that I can vouch for Gabby on that), and I’m so glad that you did pipe up here.

      Congrats on the new blog! How utterly exciting! Just came back from my visit there, and it looks like you are hard at work creating a space that is inviting, informative, and inspirational! Well done.

      Thank you for you generous words, for letting me know about your blog, and for including me on your blogroll! I’m so honored.

      Your bloggy buddy and fan,

    • thethinkingcloset says

      How cool is that?! Thank you, Bethany. From the bottom of my heart. You have been such a dear bloggy buddy to me, and I never cease to be inspired by you. Congrats to you on your nomination in the first place! Hugs back.

  11. says

    Hey Lauren, I was just stopping by from SITS and looking around! I love your blog. We have a lot in common, I am a former HS English Teacher and current musical theater Director/Choreographer at the same HS! OK…going to to start revamping my about page now!


  12. says

    Hi! Just found your post “How to Revamp Your About Page” on SITS and, after checking out your about page and some of your blog, I’m inspired so I’ve pinned your post and will be working on my about page this week! I’m now your newest follower through Bloglovin – look forward to reading more!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay! This makes me happy as can be. Cannot wait to read your revamped “About” page, Nancy. In fact, will you pop by and leave me a comment to let me know when it’s up? I’d love to leave you some comment love in return. Cheers!

  13. Marmie/Lauren's mom says

    Lauren, This was so much fun to read again over a year later and rejoice with you in a wonderful year of blogging but most especially rejoicing in the woman God made you to be! Keep letting your light shine! xxoo

    • thethinkingcloset says

      God is so good! In part for giving me you as my Mama and friend…and DIY partner in crime! Looking forward to starting that frosted vinyl vase project soon….

  14. says

    Lauren, I don’t think I ever told you how amazing your “about you” page is! It’s the best I’ve seen but then of course I just love your writing and everything you do! I need to spend more time over here getting an education and honing my VERY RUSTY non-writing skills. I just viewed your first ever UTube tutorial and it was great! It was extremely comprehensive and easy/peasy to follow. The fun and engaging teacher in you shines! Blogging is the perfect venue for you. I vote for you Lauren for the Blogger of the Year Award!

  15. Caryl Kent says

    Well my first on a blog and was smitten with your attitude and personality. Remind me somewhat of Nicholas Spark who is an inspiration to all – not just in his novels but a great person. I feel fortunate to know him. Met him before his great success in writing and he is so genuine. I talk about him to see the similar traits. Hope you love Florida and your dreams are fulfilled.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Wow! That’s so neat to hear about your relationship to Nicholas Sparks! You speak so highly of him, I am beyond honored that you see us sharing similar traits. Thank you for taking the time to leave me such a warm and affirming comment, Caryl. I wish you a year full of laughter and joy! Stop back anytime. 😉

  16. Carol Sánchez says

    Hola Lauren, que tal? Me llamo Carol y soy una chica de tu edad que vivo en Valencia, España.
    Me ha gustado mucho tu blog, aunque no entiendo muchas cosas porque no se mucho ingles, pero he estado leyendo que tu si que entiendes un poco el español, me has parecido muy simpatica y alegre, espero tu respuesta, un beso.

  17. says

    Hey Lauren, I’m so inspired after reading your post that now I am planning to start my own blog and share my life’s experience. Keep going and this journey will give you immense happiness. Good Luck!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Sukh you have no idea how excited that makes me to hear! We all have a story to tell. And a blog is a fantastic platform from which to tell that one’s story! Do let me know when it’s up, so I can come and visit you. Best of luck to you, as well!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks so much for clicking through and for taking the time to leave such warm words. DRE-lighted to have you along for the ride! (Sorry – – I’ll warn you, I embrace any and all opportunities for cheesy puns. Lol.)

  18. Lisa says

    ha! I think we are alike in some ways- I live outside of Orlando, and turned 30 last year, connected, ok met my husband in 2007- maybe a stretch but I enjoyed reading your profile! I originally found you googling about fabric washing, as I am planning a hand-pieced hexie quilt… debating on getting precuts bcz, as you stated, not supposed to be nice to wash. Heck, I can’t even find a collection that I love yet! Good luck, hope you are enjoying FL!

  19. says

    I live in Orlando too!! My husband and I are trying to plan a trip to NYC for our anniversary! Maybe you could give us some pointers! lol. I found you through Pinterest and I absolutely love your blog! Especially the wedding scrapbook project! I have never made one before but I wanted to do one from my wedding.. of course!! =)

  20. Helen says

    Just stumbled across your blog and really enjoyed it. You are a gal after my own heart. Jesus is my life too. So enjoyed you are so full of life. Keep up the great work.

  21. says

    Lauren, you are such an inspiration in art, blogging, sharing, God’s word, happiness, and l just wanted to thank you for your sharing your fantastical love in so many ways! Thank you for always putting a big smile on my face!

  22. Rachel says

    i just found your blog through Pinterest – the Date your husband cards and while I was reading the examples I realized you were talking about places in Orlando/Baldwin Park/Winter Park! We live in Winter Park Pines and just rode bikes around Lake Baldwin this morning! Going to add your blog to my reader :)

    • says

      Oh wow! How crazy cool is that?! Yes, we love living in this area…and Baldwin Park is one of our favorite places to bike. Maybe I’ll bump into you on the trail sometime! (Hopefully not literally, though, lol.)

  23. Laura Walsh says

    I love your blog!! I came across this for inspiration for decorating ideas (so please don’t continue to lash yourself over the dark colour in your bathroom — I loved it and it inspired me!!). I never would have dreamed about the colourful journaling in the pages of the Bible — but I get it. What a wonderful way to glorify the Lord in making his Word your own…..I want to try this.

    Like yourself, I am a creative person (thank you Lord!!!), who has re-purposed furniture, and an artist and love doing faux finishes (I found your page while looking for faux mouldings to help in my apt.) Free is definitely good, and most would be surprised at how affordable furnishings can be. Like your bureau turned TV stand — I have literally picked items up at the side of a road. We are ahead of our time!!! Who knew?! (Well, I guess God did — cause He knows & sees ALL!) Please keep on bloggin’ and posting. You do awesome work here.

    Laura Walsh (North Bay, ON — Canada: on Facebook as “Laura Walsh Ouellette”)


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