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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Why does mom always come last?

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Recently my puppy (who isn't really a puppy anymore considering he's 11) got pretty much torn apart by a wild dog or coyote. Because he is my baby, I never had any doubt that I would do all that I could to save him, including draining my account and racking up the credit card debt. It was never even considered that I wouldn't spend everything I had (and some that I didn't) if it would save his life. After all, money is just money and there are always ways to earn more.  But I cannot lie, it stressed me out to see those bills and a $10 balance in my checking account. So I started thinking of ways to save money...

  1. Cut out my gym membership
  2. Stop getting my hair colored for a while
  3. Sell my belongings

WTF!!! Guess what never occurred to me, cutting back on any of the extravagant things I do for my boys. After a long and rejuvenating run at the gym, I realized just how little I was loving myself (as a verb). I was willing to feel like a stressed out and unfit lady with stripper roots, but wasn't willing to not buy my kid every expensive snack option he desires.  Not that those are dollar for dollar comparisons, but let's face it... he can live without buying EVERY KIND OF CRACKER there is.

So, instead of doing any of those things, I focused on the positive. Being grateful that my puppy was on the mend and that all it took was money and some incredible doctors.  I also realized that I deserve things that make me feel good. God is generous and the universe is abundant; why would I need to sacrifice myself for a dog? And guess what... 3 weeks later... my debts are paid and I'm on the way to building up my accounts again.

So here's the takeaway, YOU ARE WORTH LOVING and you are worth showing the love. Take a moment to think about the things that make you feel good (and it can't have anything to do with sacrifice for others). Be grateful, then think of other ways to show yourself that you deserve nice things.

PS: This is Gus Gus... he's cute but a total asshole and REALLY lucky I'm his mom.

Gus Gus

 

 

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Great things never came from comfort zones

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Get out of your own damn way because...

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Great things never came from comfort zones!

If you've been in our studio, you know this popular pose is quite uncomfortable, but it's sexy as hell. We all have our comfort zones.  It's where we live from day to day. They're great in a lot of ways.  We feel safe, they keep us happy, but they also leave us a little unfulfilled.

My personal comfort zone issue is approaching strangers (particularly women).  Whether it's making new friends at a party or approaching a beautiful woman whom I would like to photograph, I'm terrified. Like heart-racing-adrenaline-pumping-queasy-stomach terrified.  Yup, I'm a big wimp.

So how about this... let's do something today that scares us! I promise you that I'll approach a stranger **shudder** and you'll commit to doing something that is way outside your comfort zone.  Deal?

If you feel like sharing what it is, comment below.  Maybe you'll inspire someone else.  And maybe, just maybe, something GREAT will happen.

CHALLENGE UPDATE:

I did it!  You'd think I'd at least set myself up for confidence and success, right?  Nope. I actually completely forgot about my challenge because all I wanted to do was buy some freaking tulle from Hobby Lobby without losing a child and/or my sanity.  We all survived (with the help of some Skittles) and headed to Target.

It was meant to be.  I got in line, paid for my cart of 10 things I didn't need plus the 2 things I did, and realized I forgot diapers.  Back into the depths of Target I go with a fussy newborn and hungry toddler.  Back in line again, this woman in front of me was speaking to the checkout clerk with such animation.  She's a beautiful woman, but what caught my attention was her zest for life, for conversation and for being "real."  I had to photograph her.

So I wimped out of speaking to her then and there because I was afraid the Target employee would yell at me for solicitation (really??? this is what my mind will do to get me out of speaking to strangers).  So I hurried as quickly as I could through the line and told myself that if she was in the parking lot, I'd introduce myself.

She was... about 10 cars away and about to hop in her car.  So I started waving my arm (only one because the other was carrying Eli) frantically.  She gives me the nicest smile you could ever give a crazy lady and waves back.  So I hold up a finger, hoping that signals her to wait.  She amazingly gets the hint.  So I introduce myself and tell her that I would love to take her portrait.  She's totally psyched and gives me her name and number.  I haven't tried it yet, so maybe it's a fake.

Then it hits me... I'm wearing a scrubby t-shirt, my hair is in a messy ponytail and my makeup is limited to last night's mascara smudged under my eyes.  My eyes widen in terror.  I quickly point out that this is my emergency-run-to-Target attire and ask her to dismiss it.  She was so sweet about it.  She has 4 kids, so she gets it.

Anyway, I didn't realize until I was in my car that I had held up to my deal just in time.  And guess what, I didn't die and I didn't even throw up.  At the very least, I'm proud of myself and if all goes well, I'll have an amazing portrait session to show for it.

Ready to step out of your comfort zone? Check if we have the perfect date for you here.

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Whoa - A Blow to My Self-Esteem

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So this is kind of an odd post, but hey what's a blog if you don't get personal and a little bit vulnerable.  I am a very self-aware person and there are a few things I know I'm not... a food sharer, organized, patient or comfortable with vulnerability.  I was raised to be confident in myself and when I'm not... to fake it.  And I admit I fake it a lot because I cannot stand the idea of being seen as less than perfect.  I know I'm not, but I don't want anyone else to think that. Ha. Anyway, so maybe that's why the Universe/God decided to hand me a big fat blow to my confidence. A while ago, I started getting this bizarro rash. What does one do in 2016 when they get a rash?  Google.  So I came to the conclusion that I had chicken pox (pretty much impossible to get twice) or eczema. Frustrated (and bawling my eyes out in the shower because I felt absolutely hideous) that my home care (and expensive eczema potions) were doing nothing, I went to the doctor.  It took him less than 2 minutes to tell me I had pityriasis rosea.

You'd think a diagnosis would be good, because then I could fix it.  I'm a bit of a control freak... when there's a problem, I fix it. Guess what... the only cure is time.  Remember when I said patience was not one of my strong suits? Commence googling once again.  The takeaway... the only thing that actually seems to help is UV light (great... wrinkles & cancer) and taking care of my body and mind to boost my own immune system.  Fabulous... give me a pill, a shot, a cream... anything but required patience.

Nine days later (and almost a month since it first showed up), I think maybe, just maybe, it's going away. I've never been so happy to have scabs!

But here's what I learned... we are all just a random disease away from feeling like crap about ourselves.  Whether we have a few extra pounds, butt-acne, unruly hair, a new wrinkle, or a rash... we let it get waaaay too involved in our self-image. I know logically, that I am still exactly the same person I was in January (except I may have an occasional pity-party for one), and my husband/family/kids/clients still love me.  You know what they don't love?  My whining.

So my takeaway, get over it.  That doesn't mean I have to love my rash (the little bastard virus needs to go pronto), but I means I need to suck it up and focus on the 99.9% other things I actually kind of like about myself. Forget your lack of thigh gap or whatever it is that drives you crazy because it's sooo not worth your time.

P.S. Mom, you're still going to get whiny texts with photo updates because you're my mom, and that's what you signed up for when you birthed me. :-)

Want to see the stupid thing that's got me so "whoa is me!"? You'll probably laugh at me for blowing it so far out of proportion.  I'll spare you the photos of my torso, though.

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New Year... New You

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Actually... how about you fall in love with the you that you already are?  You're important, you're deserving, you're lovable. Every January we stop and reflect (i.e. think about all the things we want to change).  Some of us want to lose weight.  Some of us want to be more giving.  Some of us want to be more learned.

I'm all for self-improvement (I have a small addiction to that section of the book store), but I 100% believe that the most important improvement you can make is to love yourself NOW.  Literally now... like this second.  Even if you're wearing stretchy pants, drinking your second glass of wine and flipping through US magazine.  You know what... that sounds like a person I could love!

Go look in a mirror (put some mascara and real pants on if you like) and tell yourself:

"I'm beautiful. I'm smart. I'm generous. I'm worthy."

Repeat as necessary.

 

Thank you for making 2015 amazing!

xmas-1 This has been one heck of a year.  I can't believe we are headed into 2016!  I've lived and worked in three states. I am sitting here with my family and thought about what you mean to me.  My clients aren't just my friends and my photography subjects... you're the reason for so many of my blessings:

Because of you, I've been able to turn my Georgia home into a studio instead of just carrying two mortgages.

Because of you, Leo gets to attend an amazing pre-school with educational field trips.

Because of you, Adeana has been able to plan a romantic post-deployment trip with her husband.

Because of you, I'm attending a workshop with an incredible mentor in Paris.

Because of you, I got to visit my Nana for her 95th birthday.

Because of you, I didn't have to worry about skimping on presents for my husband and kids this Christmas.

Because of you, I get to feed my Sephora addiction without choosing eyeshadow over groceries.

Because of you, my family lives a life filled with joy, adventure and time spent together.

When you support a small business like mine, it makes a world of difference. I want you to know that I appreciate every single one of you as a woman, as a client, as a friend and as a blessing in my life.

May God bless you in 2016, as you have blessed me in 2015.

I Really Don't Care What Your Husband Thinks...

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I firmly believe in retouching for boudoir and glamour and other women's portraits.

I care about what YOU think.  I care if YOU love your photos... if YOU felt sexy and beautiful... if YOU are happy with the experience.

You have probably seen the viral letter written by a husband who railed against a boudoir photographer for doing her job (including retouching). I have a big issue with this.

A husband should just be happy he was a wife who was brave enough to not only strip down and have photos taken, but to share them with him.  Boudoir is a big deal... and not something I take lightly.

I also really don't do that much retouching.  You look like you... just with more sleep and better makeup (because my makeup artists are out-of-this-world-amazeballs).

So here's my 2 cents in a video that's about 4 minutes longer than the 30 seconds I planned.  Apparently I really care about this message. Keep scrolling if you want the 30 second version you can just read.

 

 

Retouching isn't about making you look like somebody else.

When done discretely, it's almost imperceptible. Glossing over the temporary things that make you feel icky lets you focus on the good. Bye bye cellulite (that's actually about lighting not Photoshop), adios dark eye circles (as if you actually got to sleep 8 hours straight every night), and au revoir pimples (they always crop up under stress... like a photoshoot).

A 2D version of you isn't as dynamic as you  in 3D.

When you're having a conversation with your lover, you're taking information from all of your senses. He catches a lingering whiff of your perfume, she watches your eyes dilate with excitement, he feels your hand placed on his arm while you talk, she hears the tone of your voice, and if your lucky... you get to taste his lips.  That's A LOT of sexy information to take in. Take away 4 of those senses, and suddenly hello wrinkle between your brows or wandering eye liner.

This is my secret gauge for how you'll look in your photos.

I choose the photo that makes you look like the absolutely best version of yourself  straight out of camera (there's always one) and I match the others to it. So if I squished your arm in a photo and it looks significantly larger than your best photo, I'll slim it down a tad. That's not changing you, that's fixing my mistake. Shame on me for missing it while we shoot, but I bet it's because we were having too much fun.

So, by all means, book a photoshoot with a photographer that matches your own personal style. But know that with me, you will look like the hottest and most well rested version of YOU.

Retouching for boudoir: book a photoshoot with Lavish Boudoir

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Time to say goodbye

Whoa. It's been a hell of a ride. We have some very important news to share. Some good, some sad, all exciting. I (Leslie) have moved to Albuquerque, NM this week. In this next leg of my adventure I'll be seeking a new studio, new clients and a whole new experience. I'm going to take my skills to a whole new level with coaching from Modern Love Photography. Who would of thought boudoir could get even sexier?

So what happens to the studio in Valdosta??? Well, we closed the doors for good on July 30. I didn't cry, but it sure did hit me right in the gut. When I signed that lease, I'm pretty sure I held my breath until I wrote my first check because I was absolutely terrified of the commitment to owing so much every month. But with hard work and an amazing team, Adeana and I pulled it off until the Air Force said it was time to pack it up and go. We loved every minute of it.

BUT... and it's a big but (snigger... I said big butt in my head)... ADEANA WILL STILL BE BRINGING THE SEXY TO VALDOSTA! What???? Did you just squeal a little with excitement, because we sure did.

She's moving the studio into my former home, a beautiful Victorian with so much feminine appeal that it's simply swoon-worthy. You'll have even more room to unload your bags and bags and bags of lingerie and three different shooting rooms with totally different looks.

Still interested in booking a shoot with me in Albuquerque or her in Valdosta, just contact us below and we'll send you all the new pricing and info.

Contact us for your own super sexy shoot!

Beautiful Women Being Bullied and Why I Stop It

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Beautiful women are being bullied every single day.

Many of my clients come to me and bare not just their skin, but a bit of their souls. One of my biggest rules is that I don't allow the f-word (fat), c-word (cellulite), or h-word (as in "I hate my..."). I am honored to capture the unique beauty of every-day women and reflect it back to them with portraits. I cannot believe how difficult it is to spend 6 hours (when all is said and done) with a woman and keep her from saying these things. Seriously, I need to start rapping their knuckles. ***JUST KIDDING***

When you read the title Beautiful Women Being Bullied. you maybe rolled your eyes. No one ever thinks that they're the woman I'm writing about. "Beautiful doesn't describe me. I'm average at best."

Women can be their own worst bullies. Would you ever speak to someone you love the way you do to your own reflection? Can you imagine if you greeted your best friend at the pool and said,

"Ugh. You are having such a fat day."

"Your thighs are disgusting, but your arms are so scrawny!"

"and don't get me started on your limp hair and bad skin!"?

She'd cry... and you'd be a b*tch. So why oh why aren't you as kind to yourself as you are to your best friend? Isn't it time that we love ourselves?

So, please try to take the time to be kind to yourself.  Find what you love and forgive what you don't.  Life's too short.

 

Go ahead and write that on your mirror.

YOU are beautiful, you're enough, and you need to stand up to that bully.

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Happy Mother's Day!

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This is my first Mother's Day as a mom... even if I'm still little more than an incubator.  But it made me think about how every woman should be celebrated in some special way this day.  You can be a mom in so many ways.  Women are nurturers by nature... we just each choose what deserves our love and attention.  Some moms love and care for four-legged creatures (and we know that they can often be as trying as the two-legged variety); some moms cuddle and kiss away the bad days for their husband or boyfriend; some moms grow a career with time, effort and dedication; some moms will fight tooth and nail so that their friends have joy in their lives.  I think that being a mom is about nurturing something and watching it grow simply because you loved it. So, happy mother's day to

Jen - who spoils Franq with endless hours of fetch and tirelessly works to create a hit show on the CW

Shannon - who offers snuggles  on-demand both to Smokey and her aspiring police officer

My sisters (including the in-laws)- who are raising beautiful children who I can only hope will influence Leo

Leigh - who has taken to motherhood like a competitive swimmer to water

Courtney - because little Miss Paisley is handful and she is always the voice of reason to help her friends make the best decisions

My Mommy - who gives endlessly to the children she's birthed and call her own, but also to countless children through education and offering a shoulder to lean on

CJ's  Mommy - I've never met a woman who loves to love so much.

My Nana - What a strong woman.. even at the young age of 91.

My clients, my friends and anyone who stumbles across this entry - I'm sure you're a kick-ass mom to something special in your life.

 

 

 

 

Dear Anonymous Blog Basher

I am absolutely certain that I know who you are.  Over the course of three days, your unkind words have shifted from criticizing me personally with unsubstantiated claims, to criticizing my clients.  I treasure each of my clients, and I will defend each of them personally and their decision to have beautiful portraits created to help them look and feel their best.  Each woman on my site is a real person and your comments are childish, petty and cruel.  If you have something to say to me personally, I know you have my e-mail address. I have been tracking your IP address and keeping careful records of your time spent on my site, your comments and other relevant information.  If you continue to post on my blog or by other means, I will be in touch with the proper authorities.

 

Dear clients,

I've got your backs!

xx,

Leslie

I Guess Lavish Boudoir Isn't Technically All Female Anymore

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I wanted to finally make a public announcement that CJ and I are expecting a baby boy in early June!  So technically little Leo will be attending all shoots until then, but your secret is safe with him.  I will be taking the month of June off from paid shoots to spend time with my little guy and my big guy and my two furry guys.  Yes, it's me and a house full of boys! Meet Leo: