Oct 31, 2014

A Big Announcement + Finally A Friday Roundup - it's been weeks!

Oh hey there! Surprised to see you today, I know it's been WEEKS since I have done a Friday post - so seriously, thank you for dropping by. 

First and foremost! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! 

Okay, now that's out of the way.

Today is a big day, I have a lot to tell you - so let's get started. 

(1) I am a part of the Junior Womens Club and we joined up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and threw a trunk or treat event. If there are kids and candy involved I am always in, so this was an event I immediately signed up for. 

Here is how my trunk turned out:


Pretty great right? I got almost every single decoration at the dollar tree with the exception of the spider webs and spiders in the webs.

(2) As you may recall, we adopted this gorgeous guy - Captain. Just wanted to update you - he's doing GREAT - as if you couldn't tell from my instagram feed! We have reached the potty training stage....and boy oh boy is it off to a rough start, he peed on my boots last night. Any suggestions here?


(3) This week was a pretty damn successful blog week, if I do say so myself. I published two amazing co-posts this week plus awesome relationship advice for everyone - friends included -  and a Halloween plan yesterday highlighting the fabulous Brittany. If you missed the co-posts, I highly suggest you check them out! One was about busting beauty myths and the other was about newlywed myths.

(4) I want to do a Q&A post here on the blog about hair, makeup, and life. Is there anything you want to know? Just ask me via email OR leave a comment below!

(5) I like to leave my number five spot for some blog posts that have really touched me - go check em out and love them, please and thank you:

  • It was my best blogger friend's birthday! Go here to read about her one birthday tradition that is treetacular. 
  • Ashley from The Nashvillian wrote this amazing post about volunteering at an Elephant sanctuary. It's really touching - just go read it, click here.
  • Talking about weight - in particular weight gain, is such a hard topic to talk about. Kristyn not only tackles the issue but does so with such grace and in such a relatable manner. It really struck a cord with me in a good way - click here to read it.   
Okay, now for the big announcement! 

Recently Tay and Helene did a blog post series called Blogtober. You may have heard of it - it only crashed Helene's Photobucket! Anyways, if you missed it - the whole point of it was to blog every day in October off of a list of writing prompts that Tay and Helene provided. Well, when I saw this I was like WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I just didn't want to do it alone and didn't know who to ask. 

SO

When Tay from Tay Meets World approached me about doing something similar to this for Christmas I was SO IN and SO EXCITED about it! We will be blogging for the twenty-five days of Christmas off a list of writing prompts put together - which will be released soon! 

Here are a few more details:


 So I hope you guys join in and have fun with it! I know it says that we will publish the prompt list in late November but we pretty much almost have it complete - so it will probably be sooner than that.

Don't forget - email me or leave a comment below with questions for the Q&A about beauty, hair, and life! Have a happy and safe Halloween! I will be posting pictures on instagram of mine and Chris's costumes!

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Oct 30, 2014

Can you believe Halloween is tomorrow?! + Little Friday

I mean seriously. We are officially down to ONE day before the big day - HALLOWEEN! I am not sure if you know this or not - and in case you couldn't tell - Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. It's the one holiday that's just about fun - I don't have to worry about family, I don't have to worry about babies...I can just have fun.

Okay so the plan for Halloween is I am dressing up as witch for work - I am not going crazy or anything but I did get the cutest mini clip in witch hat and I am making some cute jewelry for it too (I will instagram pictures tomorrow, promise). Then tomorrow night....well this year is the first year I will be going out since Chris and I got hitched. I am realllly looking forward to it because guess what - CHRIS IS DRESSING UP >>>>>> VOLUNTARILY.

YES, VOLUNTARILY.

Truth time?

We compromised on this. Chris really wanted to go hunting on Saturday - like all day - and I really wanted to go out on Halloween, so we made a deal. He get a free, no bitching pass on hunting all day Saturday if he takes me out, in costume, on Friday night.

I will be instagramming pictures, so be sure to follow me to keep up with our Halloween shenanigans tomorrow!

In the mean time, have you met Brittany from Everyday Thoughts? Yes, her blog is a momma blog but truthfully, it's one of the very, very few I actually like. Brittany's blog is real life, it's real mommy hood. She doesn't make everything seem like rainbows and sprinkles - she's just a real mom trying to navigate this crazy world with her precious family.

Can you tell I like her and am hooked on her blog?



If you had a $50 Sephora or Ulta giftcard what would you buy? Hello makeup! If I could splurge on something at Sephora ar Ulta it would probably be some great eye cream - my birthday is coming up and I'm super self conscious about my eye-area. If you have any suggestions on great eye creams please share!

The one thing you would never leave the house without? Unfortunately my phone. (Insert big-old emoticon sad face here). I wish it wasn't the case but my phone is by my side 24/7. I even sleep with it on my nightstand! 

QUICK! Vampires or Werewolves? Why? Would you let it turn you? Vampires - because Werewolves are hairy and I hate to shave. You said quick - that doesn't make much sense but it's the first thing that came to mind. I might let them turn me if they looked like any of the characters from True Blood. 

True Blood or Supernatural? True Blood - two words: Jason Stackhouse 

What would your Real Housewives tag line be?  Well first I'm ob-sessed with my housewives! My favorite would be a toss up between Teresa's line this season, "You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have" and Lydia's line, "You only live once, but it you work it right, once is enough." AMEN sisters!

Which celebrity would you like to have a beer with? In my head I have a whole blog post about this! Tina Fey would be at the top of my list - wife, mother, boss lady, successful and carrying around smiles everywhere she goes - what's not to adore? I'd love to be her audience for a beer (or 4). 

Which blogger would you like to have a beer with? Not including myself, because duh - that's a given. Probably Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars - I literally laugh so hard reading her blog - I guess you can say- if you're funny I want to hang out with you! 

Brittany
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Ash (Follow Here!) //  Felecia (Follow Here!)

Rules are there are no rules! 

Please link-up to whatever you like! 

All that we ask is, if you wish, please follow us via the links above and that you link back to this blog - so that other's can join in and mingle! 

Happy Little Friday Everyone!

The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup

Oct 29, 2014

Ten Newlywed Myths


Begin engaged is so much fun! Planning the wedding is so much fun! But then - there's the whole after the happy ending that no one talks about >>> the actual marriage.

The whole being married thing - is really, really hard. For me, I was with Chris three months shy of eight years before we got hitched and I still didn't really "get him" until we moved in together and said "I do". For us the old saying that the first year is hardest year was so true. Learning to adjust to each others quirks and weirdnesses has been hard, setting boundaries, figuring out the chore system, making time...it's been hard and it still is.

Now to don't get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing and is worth it but it seems like when you go into marriage there are all these fantasies you go into it with - all of these myths. So today I am here with Lauren from Lot 48 to dispel some of these myths.

If you haven't met Lauren yet, then I suggest you check a couple of favorite posts from her that I love - like the one where she had to kiss a guy ON STAGE when she had never kissed anyone before, or her amazing wedding, or the one where she dressed up as her sister for Halloween!


1. that you will know how to fight fairly.  i remember our first fight as a married couple.  we still had my twin bed in the apartment  because we hadn't  sold it yet.  in the middle of the fight, i was  so angry with him that i left our bedroom and  went to the bed that was in the living room.  i then thought to myself, "i'm married.  we are married.  i should probably try to be mature or whatever and not run away when we have a fight."  i had no idea how to be a good wife or be married!!

2. that you will both have the same ideas about money.  i am spender, taran is a saver.  he doesn't like going out to eat, movies, spending anything more than $5.  he is very frugal.  i knew that when we were dating which caused a lot of fights even when we were dating.  in the first few months of our marriage, we fought about money alllll the time.  we have both gotten a lot better.  i have gotten a lot better at spending and better  at saving, and taran has gotten better at getting annoyed everytime we go  out, which now, is very rare.

3. that you will lose your single friends.  i still hang out with my single friends all the time!! i actually only have like, 3 married friends, and they live an hour away, so i rarely hang out with them.  the majority of my friends are single and it really doesn't matter. it's not like we only hang out with married people.  we have only gone on a double  date once in our 9 months of marriage.

4. that it will be easy to split up time between your families.  since my sister moved here a few months after i got married, i have really been monopolizing taran from his family.  i feel bad about it. it's just that for the first time in 12 years, all my sisters and i live in the same city.  and it will only be like this for a year so i am trying to really milk it.  we have a ton of family gatherings, and i think we have been to taran's parent's house like 3 times.  i feel bad. he goes and sees them by himself like when i was working and he got off early, he would go hang out with them until i got home.  but the fact is, his family doesn't have as many gatherings as my family, so, i guess maybe that is another reason.


(5) The laundry. Oh it won't be that much more - I mean what's one more persons clothes?!

Oh the laundry. I used to do four small loads a week -when it was just me. I had my pinks, reds, and yellow, my dark colors, whites, and towels. Now I have that plus all of Chris's stuff plus double the towels. It's a lot and it piles up quickly. Chris though, when he is in the mood - he does his own laundry and leaves mine and the other house laundry to me. To say that's been a big source of contention would be an understatement - but we have been working on it. He now at least asks if there is something of mine or a load of towels he can do. #progress - it's all you can ask for.

(6) The groceries. It's not that much more expensive to grocery shop for an extra person.

So not only is it more expensive to grocery shop for two but it's more time consuming. I have to ask Chris before every trip, because he always forgets to write it down, if there is something in particular that he needs or wants. It's a pain but at least it prevents multiple trips.

(7) The schedules. Finding time to still have dates will be easy, you live together! How hard can it be?!

Chris works two jobs - voluntarily - and then is a avid hunter and fisherman. So when he's home, typically he's preparing for a hunting trip or fishing trip. Then I am a part of the JWC and I blog - a lot. It's been hard making everything line up for at least one date night a week.

Making that time for each other is hard and it seemed much easier when we didn't live together and was not yet married. So this is a work in progress for us.

(8) The little things. They won't bother you - i.e. leaving cabinets open for example.

I will never understand why Chris can't put his clothes in the basket that's a foot away from where he is taking them off. He will never understand why I can't put my shoes in my closet instead of leaving them all over the house. Both of these things drive each other crazy.

(9) The chores. Splitting those up will be a breeze.

The chores, in the beginning, was the biggest source of all our fights. I felt like I did everything, Chris felt like he did stuff but that I didn't notice. Lately, his job is finishing our house and mine is keeping up the one we are in. For now it works - but when we move into our new house..I do wonder how that will shake out in regards to chores since he has a free pass right now while fixing up the new house.

We will cross that bridge when we get there.

(10) The activities. They take up more time that you know!

Like I mentioned in number 7 - sometimes you have to give an activity or two in order to make time for your partner - otherwise you just end up seeing each other before bed and first thing in the morning, which is so not romantic.

Any wedding myths you experienced or you have heard of?


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Oct 28, 2014

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks

(1) You have to wash your hair daily

When I hear people say this I just want to be like NOOOOOOO!!!!! Stop stripping your hair peeps! When you continually strip of your of it's natural oils every day, it causes your glands to overproduce and thus you create greasy hair. In between washes I like to use Batiste dry shampoo (it's the best, I have tried almost all of them). Typically, I spray it all over my head and then section and re-blow out my (dry) hair using a ceramic round brush.

For proof that this works - click here. I hadn't washed my hair in three days when I took the pictures for this post.

(2) Product is EVERYTHING when it comes to getting that perfect hair texture.

SO NOT TRUE! If you want to build texture in your hair all you need is a teasing comb, THEN you set with hair spray so that it holds. If you don't know how to tease your hair, check out my tutorial that can be found here.

BUT if you do want to use product to build texture then I suggest a root powder.

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks
click here to see each product

(3) You have to use bleach to get your hair that perfect shade of blonde.

NOOPE! See how blonde my hair is here:

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks

I - well my stylist - got my hair this blonde by using a brand of color called Scruples. This product works by lifting and then depositing color. Here is the jist of it that I got from my hair stylist:


  • Because permanent color is deposited - instead of stripping color - the tone and color last longer. 
  • Scruples doesn't damage hair like bleach does because it's doesn't use anything higher than a 20 vol developer - the minimum for bleach is 20. 

(4) The only way to straighten your hair is with a flat iron.

You can get the same effect using a ceramic round brush when you blow your hair out in layers. I use this one and love it!

(5) Lipstick feathering is what it is and there is nothing you can do about it.

A primer - specifically this primer - will solve all of your problems. I have been using it for months and don't know how I survived without it!

(6) You have to buy an expensive foundation to get that perfect base.

Nope! Not true! The key to a good base is your primer. For a moisturizing primer I like to use Laura Mercier Oil-Free primer and for an all day (or all night) primer I highly suggest Benefits 15-Hour primer.

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks
click here to see each product

Then you add a breathable foundation - these are a few of my favorites. I use all of the interchangeably on a regular basis. For a more sheer look I go with the Tarte powder foundation, for a full-face look I use the Revlon, and for when I am on the go but want something in the middle I use the Smashbox foundation.20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks
click here to see each product

(7) You need ten bajillion products for your daily makeup routine.

Ten products. I use ten products and that's it.

I use a primer - one of the ones listed above, I use a foundation - one of the ones listed above, concealer, a powder to set, blush, highlighter, mascara, brow filler, lip primer, and lip stick.

This is what I wear most days:

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks
click here to see each product

Sometimes if I am feeling frsiky I will add eyeshadow and eyeliner - but most days I am in a hurry and just wear the basics.

(8) The only way to get a good pigment from an eye shadow is to buy the expensive shadows.

Not true!! You can get all the pigment you want if you use a good primer. My favorite primer is by Urban Decay. My favorite inexpensive eye shadow palette is by NYX and Covergirl is a close second.  Almay is good ALL the time - so when in doubt just go for them.

BUT

if you are feeling splurgy I can't suggest enough the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I got one for Christmas and don't know how I survived all these years without it!20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks
click here to see each product

(9) You can get more product of your mascara tube if you pump it.

This actually dries out your mascara - don't do it! Plus, if you are at that point in your mascara tube, that means it's time to go shopping!

(10) Buying that $50 hair product will miraculously heal your split ends.

There is no cure for split ends other than a hair cut. Sorry, but it's true. So don't waste your hard earned cash!

Now it's time for Elle's myths! What ya got for us girl?

Hi, I'm Elle from ElleSees, an everything beauty blog. Product reviews, hair, nail, makeup tutorials, tips and tricks--it's all on there. And today I'm sharing 10 of the most common beauty and hair myths--to see The Grits Blog's 10, be sure to visit ElleSees!

1--Match your foundation to your hand
Growing up I was told to match to my hands or inner wrist, but neither of those match my face. Instead, match foundation to you neck. Many stores will take back foundation if the shade doesn't work for you. Sephora can color match you as well as give you a sample.

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks

2--Rinse and repeat
One good shampoo and rinse is all you need. If you use products that cause buildup (like those found in volumizing products) use a good clarifying shampoo.

3--Brush your hair 100 times a day
This isn't a good practice. A good brush through is all you need.

4--Redheads can't wear red lips
Not true! Just find a shade that makes you feel comfortable. Try finding the shade that could work for you here.

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks

5--Use yellow concealer to hide dark circles
This is another old-school makeup method that is just not reliable. Instead, try a peach based corrector. See how I cover my dark circles here.

6--Use concealer a few shades lighter to hide pimples
Using a concealer that is lighter than foundation will accentuate those areas you are trying to conceal. Instead, use one that matches your skin tone.

20 of the Biggest Beauty Myths #bblogger #beautymyths #beautyhacks

7--Expensive products are the best
Drugstore makeup has come a long way, and now you don't have to spend a fortune to look it. Drugstore mascara is one of my favorite purchases. I actually do a This or That series where I compare a high end product to a more affordable one.

8--You can get rid of pores
You can't. You can lessen the appearance of them. Try this tutorial to see how.

9--Drinking tons of water is the only thing to help moisturize skin
Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors, including the environment. Drinking water is an excellent, wonderful thing, but isn't THE sole means to get moisturized skin. Try a moisturizer like this one.

10--Eye liner makes your eyes look bigger
Eye liner is actually designed to make your lashes look longer. Lining your eyes with black liner will make them look smaller. Try liner right at the upper lash line and smudge a shadow underneath the bottom lash line. It won't look as harsh!

What are some beauty myths you have heard of? 
Did you know of any of these listed before reading this post?

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Oct 27, 2014

Five Favorite Relationship TIps - for everyone, friends fam etc


Most of these tidbits of wisdoms are things that I have heard from family and close friends throughout the course of my life (hey Aunt Susan - recognize anything here?!). They have come to help me through some pretty tough situations with friends, boyfriends, and family -and so I thought I would share:

1. If you love this person - whether it be a friend, family, or boyfriend/husband - give them the benefit of the doubt until you are proven otherwise.

This is one that I have heard over and over and it always proves to be true. I pretty much always think the worst of people which makes it wayyyyy to easy for me NOT to trust someone for any given reason. SO I go with - until you have proven otherwise, I am pretty much going to be on your side.

2. Love is supposed to be unconditional - so keep that in mind before you burn that bridge.

If you love someone, I mean truly love someone then do your best to work it out and even if you can't don't burn the bridge. There are going to be some people in your life that you just can't have a relationship with - that doesn't mean you have to part on bad terms though.

3. If the other person burned the bridge down and they seek forgiveness, give it willingly. Doesn't mean everything goes back to the way it was before - but at least everyone is finally on the right side of the fence.

Forgiveness is hard for me. Once you cross me there is pretty much no going back and if you ever do get back into my good graces it's only after a lot of communication and hard work (on my side as well). But overtime, I have learned and am still learning that forgiveness is for my soul and my heart - it gives me peace with whatever situation has happened. It might take me a while - but generally I get there.

4. Talk about it. If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it first. You don't want them to hear about your problems with them from other people before they hear it from you.

Sleep on it first - then have a chat. Make sure you say why you feel the way you do and give the other person a chance to defend themselves -and actually listen to what they are saying.

5. Hurt feelings happen in every relationship - it's up to you if you let those ruin it or if you let them make you stronger and more understanding.

Do you really want to let some petty BS ruin a relationship? If so, then it probably wasn't worth saving, if not - then let it go and work on moving forward.

Like I said, these tips have helped with all relationships in my life - but if you are wanting some specific marriage tips then I suggest you check out this post from Ashlen over at A Diamond with Sapphires. Her post gives great tips - like not blabbing about your problems in your marriage to everyone else!

When I read Ashlen's blog I feel like I am sharing a cup of coffee with her while splitting a piece of coffee cake. It's all about her favorite quotes, fabulous apple crisp recipes, and sharing her never before seen wedding pictures! Today she is here on the blog for a quick little interview!

Take it away Ashlen!

A Diamond with Sapphires 

(1) If you had a $50 Sephora or Ulta giftcard what would you buy? 

NAIL POLISH! I have a bit of an obsession with Essie. My nails are really thin and weak so I'm always wearing nail polish to prevent them from peeling and breaking. I've found that Essie goes on better and lasts longer than any other brand I've tried. Plus all the color options make me swoon!

  Essie Trophy Wife 

(2) The one thing you never leave the house without? 

There's the obvious answer here - my cell phone and my wallet (aka and ID and credit card). But what girl doesn't leave the house without those things? Lately I'm lost if I don't have my Norwex optic scarf attached to my purse. I always need it to clean my sunglasses and get fingerprints off my cell phone!

(3) What song best describes your personality? 

Right after graduating from university I took this really high-stress job and was working insane hours. I had all these big hopes and dreams for my career. I think the song "Vienna" by Billy Joel was written for me at that point in my life. 
"Where's the fire, what's the hurry about? You'd better cool it off before you burn it out. You've got so much to do any only So many hours in a day."
(4) Which Harry Potter character would you be and why?

I would definitely be Hermione. She's intelligent, practical, constantly striving to learn more, and solving problems by finding logical solutions.

(5) QUICK! Vampires or Werewolves? Why? Would you let it turn you?

I'm assuming we're talking Twilight interpretation here so....vampires all the way!  I mean, werewolves are cool, but they smell and eventually they're mortal. Plus the whole "imprinting" thing is just creepy. Vampires are all gorgeous and have fun sparkly skin. They can run super fast and be crazy because they're immortal. The big downside for me would be the food situation, because I LOVE to cook. Drinking blood doesn't seem very appealing. Overall, I think I would let it turn me. Why not!?

(6) True Blood or Supernatural?

Ummm....neither. Sorry folks. That said, I have a tendency to binge watch shows once they've finished. That's what I did with Breaking Bad and Dexter. I could see myself doing that with True Blood at some point in time. I'm currently in the middle of a Fall Film Challenge, so let me get through that before I commit to any other binges!

(7) Go take this Buzzfeed quiz and tell us. Would you have survived the battle of Hogwarts?

Looks like I survived, and I'm a trusty best friend. I suffer an incredible amount of emotional pain, but I'm reliable and value friendship more than anything else which is why I put my life on the line for the people I love.

(8) What would your Real Housewives tag line be? 

Ok, so the truth of the matter is that a while ago I had to Google "What is a Real Housewife tag line?" because I don't watch Real Housewives. At this point you might be wondering what I do watch, because I don't watch True Blood, Supernatural, or any of the Real Housewives. You can check out what's on my DVR this season here. Now that I know what Real Housewife tagline are all about, I think the best one I could come up with for myself is "I live without regret."

(9) Which celebrity would you like to have a beer with?

I would love to have a double date with Bill and Melinda Gates. My husband is a computer and software engineer, so he could have some great conversations with Bill, and I am so impressed by Melinda's work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the field of global health. My less nerdy answer? Steve Carrell....except I would be afraid that I would snort my beer our my nose laughing so hard!

(10) Which blogger would you like to have a beer with? Not including myself, because duh - that's a given.

Tough question! Probably Taylor from The Daily Tay because her posts always make me laugh. I imagine that she would be a riot in real life!

Go click on Ashlen's button and check out her blog!!

A Diamond with Sapphires





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