When I started The Offbeat Report in 2008, I had no clue what it would turn into. Honestly, I started this blog so I had a place to write. I was Editor-in Chief of my college newspaper and missed writing. I remember, sitting around, trying to come up with a name for the things. You can see, by the title, this blog originated from my journalism roots and has stayed primarily such throughout the six years of its existence.
I never expected anything from this blog. I never thought anyone would read it. I never thought anyone would care about what I had to say. Most of my posts have been essays or long-form personal anecdotes or opinions. There’s never been any structure — instead, a catchall for “what’s going through Lauren’s brain.”
When I moved to San Francisco in 2009, people started reading. Some of my very best friends I’ve made through this blog. It’s (almost) always been a home for me — a place where I can lay it all out there and hope that my experiences somehow inspire or relate to someone, anyone. I’ve always believed in the power of living your life out loud and this blog has been proof that it’s all worth it.
It’s been many months since this blog has felt like a home. Sure, work and plans and busy-ness has gotten in the way of my writing, but I felt I had outgrown what The Offbeat Report was in the very beginning. I’ve grown. I’ve taken on new hobbies and have developed new passions. I tried starting a few “spinoff’ blogs to house those hobbies and passions, but that turned into too much work.
An opportunity came my way that I couldn’t pass up (more, exciting news about this soon!) and I was inspired to do a little something different around here, on this ol’ blog. First, a redesign. New header, logo and overall design. You like?
For those of you (mostly the ladies) who know me in person, you know I’m obsessed with makeup, skincare, haircare and basically anything that falls into the beauty category. It’s no secret that I spend way too much money at Sephora (they flew me out to Vegas to speak at their Store Director’s Conference this summer!). Because of this passion, I’ve incorporated a new Beauty section to TOBR. I’m hoping to include tutorials, favorites, new obsessions, problem solvers, and more. I’m so excited to have a place to share some of my expertise with all of you. You can read more about why I’m adding Beauty to the blog here.
Ever since I moved to San Francisco five years ago, I’ve been food-spoiled. Seriously, there are so many amazing things to eat and drink here in this city. I’ve been honing my cooking skills since I moved here (it’s also expensive to eat out in the city!) and some would say I’ve gotten pretty good. I love food. I love to cook. And I love to feed other people. The conversations that take place around a good meal are so powerful and when you’re at home, dining with those closest to you, sharing good, homemade food, that’s happiness. That happiness radiates through me every time I cook. Cooking is kind of like my therapy — it’s a chance for me to unplug, be creative, and be totally in the moment. That’s why I’ve added a Food section to the blog. I want to share the recipes I create and delicious food I make with you. You can read more about why I’m adding Food to the blog here.
Both of these additions will also stretch a muscle I haven’t worked out much since I first moved to San Francisco: photography. After three months of living in San Francisco, my grandmother sent me a gift: a Canon DLSR camera. I used it to go on photo walks and take photographs of my new city. I loved it. Last year, I downsized a bit and invested in a Sony Nex-6 and have loved playing around with photography again. Adding Beauty and Food to TOBR will allow me to take more photos, and I’m so excited.
The Offbeat Report is already starting to feel a little more like home. Like a true representation of me. To those of you who have been following along since the beginning, thank you. I’ve loved getting to know many of you! To those who just started following along, welcome! I’m looking forward to sharing more of me with you.
Be courageous and live your life out loud.