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Too... This, That, or the Other - Why Imperfect is Beautiful

I hear all the time from clients that they're too old, too fat, too droopy, too thin, too wrinkly, too flabby... too imperfect to be photographed.  It breaks my heart.  This week I had a 60+ woman in my studio who is waifish and tall.  Last week I had a 23 year old who is curvy and petite.  What made each of them sexy is that they put their insecurities aside and trusted me.  Trusted me to show them beauty isn't about a size, a shape, or a feature. It's vulnerability and the confidence to see that imperfections are amazing.  These are some of the things I've heard from clients, who ended up near tears at how much they love their photos.

  • I'm fat.

  • I'm old.

  • I'm too young.

  • I'm too thin.

  • I'm too short-waisted.

  • I'm too long-waisted.

  • My nose is too big.

  • I hate my smile.

  • My hair never looks good.

  • I don't know how to do my makeup.

  • My thighs are too thin.

  • My thighs are too fat.

  • My butt is too flat.

  • My butt is too big.

  • My ankles are so thick. (That one might have been me.)

  • My boobs are too big.

  • My boobs are too small.

  • M boobs are too droopy.

  • My legs are too long.

  • My legs are too short.

  • I wish I worked out more.

  • I wish I'd lost 10 lb.

  • My ears stick out.

  • My teeth are weird.

  • My face is too round.

  • My face is too narrow.

  • I have a double-chin.

  • My arms are too wobbly.

  • I have a huge zit.

  • I have so much cellulite.

  • My stretch marks are so bad.

  • My face is too wrinkly.

  • I hate my freckles.

  • My lips are too thin.

Some of these comments have come from these beautiful women.  Could you ever imagine one of them saying such terrible about themselves?

Getting High & Making Miracles

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Okay... I confess that was a little bit click-bait-y. But it's true.

I'm not into drugs, I've never even smoked weed. It was just never my thing. I'd rather get high off of  a heart-pounding workout, a giggling fit with my friend Jen, or a "Leslie" cocktail at a nice restaurant (recipe here).

I believe in making your own miracles happen, simply by allowing them.

making your own miracles - Lavish Boudoir™ - Albuquerque & Santa Fe New Mexico

But I do get a major endorphin high when I have a great workout after a good night's sleep. Yes, working out makes me healthier. Yes, it keeps those Leslie cocktails from expanding my waistline. Yes, it's a bit of me-time. But mostly...

It makes me feel like anything is possible and the universe delivers.

Whether you call it the Universe, God, Source or the Cosmic Waitress, there's something about dripping with sweat that makes me feel connected.

In fact, that old adage "Be careful what you wish for," is so true that I've often instantly brought things into my life that I didn't exactly mean to. For example, a while back, I was huffing and puffing on the stair mill and thought, "You know what? I need a break. I'm feeling overwhelmed." Before I even got back to the locker room, my phone pinged with an email with the subject line, "I need to cancel my photoshoot."

NO! That's not what I meant! Fortunately, I re-booked shortly thereafter.

I only share this because I think that as a mom, we feel like the miracles must be happening elsewhere. That they belong to "someone else."

Make your miracles, Momma.

Get to that place that makes you feel amazeballs and open yourself up to the wonderful things God-Universe-Source-Angels-Cosmic-Waitress have lined up for you.

Some of my favorite ways, if you're not into climbing floor after floor of stairs.

- prayer or meditation no need to make specific requests. Just sit quietly and listen to your breathing and silently tell whoever is listening that you are ready for more miracles.

- tapping (EFT) I love Brad Yates because he's done the hard work for me. I just follow along with him on YouTube. If you ever see me tapping on my forehead while I'm driving, this is why.

- dance party Crank up the kind of music that speaks to your soul and get moving. Great to do when you have kids around.

- a quiet walk at sunrise or sunset Let Dad handle bath-time or breakfast and get outside for a leisurely 5-10 minute walk. The world will go on without you for that time.

Look for the miracles that start showing up, because they will.

Whether it's finding a penny in the street (my boys' favorite), getting a lead for a job you've been wanting, the perfect buyer for your home, or even getting your kids to bed on time without a fuss (hallelujah!!!).

Say thank you for every miracle great and small, and you'll be showered with more.

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Feeling better and looking better than I have in a loooong time.

You know when you have an event coming up (possibly a boudoir photoshoot) and you're like, "MUST LOSE 5 POUNDS NOW!" I was invited to my college roommate's wedding in San Diego. Ever been to the land of the skinny before? Know what it's like to compare your post-baby bod to their marathon-running-haven't-yet-grown-a-human physique?

Isn't the bride freaking gorgeous!?

I'm on the far right with my arm pressed against my body, and I KNOW BETTER THAN TO DO THAT.

So I needed something quick and painless. You know what isn't painless?

  • counting calories
  • counting points
  • low-fat/low-carb/low-taste
  • vegan or paleo
  • keto or whatever that one is
  • cleanses
  • glycemic indexes

It's all stressful and you know what stress does? It makes you fat.

I decided to keep it simple... I made a choice not to eat any added sugars. No refined sugar, no honey, no syrups, no fake splenda.

Guess what happens when you do that? You cut out all the crap without having to do any calculations or extra work.

Within 3 days, I fit into my pants more comfortably, had more energy, slept better and grumped less and I still ate: chips and salsa, cheese on crackers, fruit, bread from Panera.  I replaced my energy drinks with lemon flavored sparkling water (a bit of an acquired taste).

 

34 and It is Fantastic!

Everyone says that the 30s are wonderful and I must admit as I take stock of my life, my goals and my self-awareness, I have to agree. I actually loved most of my teen years (minus a handful of mean girl incidents), had an incredibly exciting and romantic twenties as a newlywed, and the first half of my 30s has been pretty eventful (3 cross country moves, 2 children, 2 businesses).

Last week I turned 34 and it is fantastic.

34 and it is fantastic | Lavish Boudoir™ | Albuquerque, NMPhoto credit goes to my sweetheart, CJ.

Me at 34:

My body isn't its slimmest or even strongest (I still miss those killer cheer workouts), but I can play like a kid at recess for an hour straight when we visit the trampoline park.

My mind isn't its sharpest (I have 2 kids under 5 and I'm tiiired), but I have an almost fanatical desire to learn.

My business isn't quite where I want it to be, but it's fulfilling to work with my amazing clients (yes, you!), and I'm damn proud of what I've built so far.

My skin isn't flawless, but my eye crinkles tell many tales of a million smiles.

In 34 years, I've got a pretty good idea of what I'm great at (working hard and unwavering optimism), good at (taking care of my family) and absolutely crap at (cleaning and to-do lists). But I don't have a problem with any of it. I've learned to love myself unconditionally. I love my highs and my lows. I'm learning to forgive my mistakes. I've got room to grow as a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur and a woman. I'm not perfect, but I'm perfectly fine with where I am right now.

If you're reading this, thank you. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

What decade has been your best?

Tell me your stories... Have you fallen in love with yourself yet? E-mail me for a complimentary consultation... a photoshoot is a huge step towards this.

 

 

 

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How to make choreplay even hotter - Lavish Boudoir

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Studies say choreplay is sexy...

WTF is choreplay? In a study called Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage, Kornrich, Brines & Luepp, basically found that couples who stick to a more traditional division of chores have sex more than couples who take a more gender-bending approach to chores.

Now, I am all about equal effort to take care of a house and home, but I do think it's sexy as hell when my husband remembers to take out the trash every night and mows the lawn (preferably shirtless) on the weekend.

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But here's what I think is the best choreplay... hiring someone else to do it and spending that time connecting. Sometimes that means an hour sitting on our butts watching Shameless. But it usually means we are not too damn exhausted to want to hug, hold and get it on.

We live crazy busy lives and I bet you do, too. Whether it's a demanding job, busy children or even a dedication to a special organization... I bet your days feel like there are never enough hours, let alone sex.

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We still do the daily tidying up, the cooking and the resulting cleanup, and we definitely need to scrub our little boys nightly. But a team of dedicated professionals come and turn my pigsty into a palace. It takes me 2 hours of prep work to tidy, but it means that while they're doing the heavy cleaning... I'm playing with my youngest, serving clients or doing something that I am much better at (seriously, I've been told I'm actually bad at the skill of cleaning). They can accomplish in two hours what would take me at least six.

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So on Thursday night, I cook, my husband cleans the kitchen and I scrub my littles. We cuddle up on the couch, look around at our lovely home and just relax. That is the best foreplay in the world.

So grab a feather duster, put on something sexy and get dirty.

Photos & Makeup by Leslie Cersovski (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

 

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Beauty is in her DNA

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Talk to your daughter about beauty and boudoir

Talk to your daughter about beauty and what is sexy

I firmly believe you should talk to your daughter about beauty and what is "sexy." I photograph a lot of moms and grandmothers. I know.... they all look so hot, right? It's a miracle what the proper pampering can do for a woman's mojo. Anyway, I digress.

I also sell A LOT of wall art for these ladies, but it isn't usually what they're inclined to buy right off the bat.

Here's my typical conversation in the boudoir photo sales session:

Miss Hotty-Pototty-Mommy: Oh, I love my photos. These albums are just so gorgeous.

Miss Mostly-A-Mess-From-Shooting-All-Day: Yay! Let's take a look at the options I have...

[blah blah blah, long process of deciding on the perfect cover because there are soooooo many pretty covers]

Miss MAMFSAD: Okay, which photo is your favorite for hanging on the wall? Wall art is offered in these super elegant frames.  Do you want something knock-his-socks off sexy to start the day or a bit more subdued and implicit of sexy?

Miss HPM: Oh [blush] I don't know if I could put one on the wall! My kids would see!

 

The first time I told a mom to show her boudoir portraits proudly:

The first time I really remember this conversation was with one of my friends who finally became a client. She has a daughter who was gradeschool age. This daughter is so precocious and has the most beautiful freckles. She'll probably grow up to look just like her mommy, who is growing up to look just like Heidi Klum.

She had actually purchased the wall art, but texted me in a panic afterward. She hadn't thought about what her daughter would see.

But I think she still hadn't. Her daughter was nosediving into tweendom and before she knew it, this nail-polished, knee-scraped, life of the party would hit puberty. Someone would tell her she's not pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, tough enough or say something else was lacking. We spend a lot of time reinforcing to girls that they're super smart and talented all these other things that we fear girls don't get told enough. We should always keep those compliments coming... no doubt about it.

Show a girl she's enough

We've become afraid to tell a girl she's pretty enough. As if being pretty negates all the other wonderful things about her. But she'll wonder at some point in her life... and the answer is always, "You are."

I believe that when a young girl sees her mom as a beautiful work of art, she sees her own reflection. I believe that you can tell your daughter, "Look how pretty mom is, and how confident she is, and how nice this photo makes her feel. You'll grow up to look just like me, and I bet you'll be even prettier."

Point out her magical smile, her captivating eyes, her life-of-their-own curls. Those things make her pretty, certainly much more than pretty enough.

Now give her hug, tell her she's smart, talented, driven and pretty... anything in this whole world can be hers.

Maybe seeing that beautiful portrait of mom will remind her that beauty isn't an age, a size, a shape or a color, that her beauty is right there in her DNA.

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