Hair, Makeup, & Getting Ready!

Finally, a wedding post! (Bachelorette post doesn’t totally count)

I always had a vision of what I wanted the morning to look like the day of my wedding. 
Something about getting ready with my closest girls friends really excited me and I couldn’t wait for it all to happen. Although the morning was nothing like I envisioned, I loved it even more than anything I could have thought of it. It was truly perfect. The location, the timing, the memories. 
Everything was wonderful. 
My family that came from Ohio had rented a house close to our venue instead of staying in a hotel. I stayed there with them along with my best friend and it worked out so well. The morning of the wedding, all my bridesmaids came over there and we were able to use the house to get ready in. I felt so relaxed being in an actual house and not a hotel room. There was room for everyone, there was a huge kitchen we could use for food and drinks, and the extra living room space to finish projects was awesome.

I didn’t feel too stressed the morning of. 
Actually, I take that back. I was stressed when I ordered pictures from Walmart for picture frames that were going up at the reception and the photo people in Walmart gave me SOMEONE ELSES PICTURES. I might have gone a little “bridezilla” at that moment, but for the most part I felt calm and collected. (Who knows what everyone else thought of me though!)

As for hair and makeup, I had people come to the house to do them. 
My sister did my makeup which I was hugely grateful for. An old friend of mine came over to do my hair at the house, as well as baby girls hair and one of my bridesmaids. I loved being able to relax and not feel rushed to have either my hair or makeup done. 4 of my bridesmaids, along with the mothers, got their hair done at the Ulta Salon near where we were getting ready. 

Tips The Morning Of:
Do not go hungry. You are going to be stressed and nervous and it’s good to have at least a little something in your tummy before the rest of the night takes place. 
It really won’t help anyone. If something doesn’t go as planned, keep calm and move on.
Did I drink while getting ready? Yes. But I had one, maybe two, Mikes Hard Lemonades. 
If you’re anywhere over the age of 16, two Mikes Hards aren’t going to get you drunk. With that being said, some people don’t know their limits. Do yourself a favor, don’t get drunk before the ceremony. It’s not cute, your pictures won’t turn out good, and you want to remember these moments.

Now without further ado, pictures from the morning of my wedding with some of my closet friends. Thank you to everyone who helped out that morning. You are all rockstars in my eyes. 

{If you have ANY questions related to this post and/or wedding related, please ask! Leave a comment or feel free to email me at any time.}

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How-To Tuesdays {Week 3!}

Week THREE already?! So crazy how fast this seems to be going by! I have loved reading each of the submissions by all of you wonderful people. Please, please, please keep it up and as always, make sure to share the link-up with others who might want to participate!  Thank you for making this link-up consistently grow each week. The more link-ups, the more eyes on your posts, so keep them coming! 😉 

My features from last week:

Removing Unwanted Stickers| A Kaleidoscopic Dream

How To Make Ghee | Southern Mom Loves

If you are ever featured, please head over to Aprons, Trainers, and Bibs and grab a button to put on your page! 
She has the button featured on her blog! 


A few guidelines to read before submitting your link:
  • Link to a specific how-to post, not your home page
  • Share up to 3 new posts – keep it fresh – don’t link up the same posts every week
  • No links to promote giveaways, sponsored posts, other link parties, or your shops
  • Visit other links in the party, leave some comments, and share, share, share!
  • Share our button on your post, so that people know where you’re linking up, and so you have a chance to be featured! You must link back to us if you want to be featured!            

By entering a link, you give myself and the other hosts to feature your pictures on our blog. Proper links and credit will be given. 

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Fresh Quinoa Salad

Quinoa. Pronounced “KEEN-WA”. 
So good, so delicious, so amazing. 
My mom is a quinoa fanatic and puts this stuff on everything. Cereal, pancakes, salads…it’s seriously good on just about anything and everything! 
With, what I think is very little taste, and a tremendous amount of nutrients, Quinoa is the perfect little grain to add to your everyday pantry items! 

Last night I mixed together this amazing little salad for a side dish and it was delicious! 
So fresh and light, yet tasteful and amazing! 

-1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
-1/2 Cucumber
-1/2 Red Onion
-1 Yellow Bell Pepper
-1 Green Bell Pepper
-Drizzle of EVOO

This salad is so simple to put together. 
First, cook your quinoa. I did this in my rice cooker which makes it super simple. 
Then, chop up all your veggies and add them to a bowl, mix, and enjoy! 

This salad can be so versatile! Other things that I think would work great in this salad are: olives, any kind of beans, tomatoes, avocado, etc. Really it’s up to you! 

Have you had quinoa before?
What is your favorite way to use it?!

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Mothers Day with Hallmark {Review & Giveaway}

Disclaimer: I was provided these items from the company for review purposes. However, all opinions are honest and my own. 

When I think of cards I can’t help but automatically think of Hallmark. 
With that being said, I also think of Hallmark with almost all holidays, and Mothers Day is no different! 

Hallmark provided me with some amazing cards and a “We Love You Because Kit” which I think is just the most adorable thing ever. I love that this kit included everything in it. A chalkboard, the chalk itself, and the picture frame is just perfect for Mothers Day. 

The cards I got included cards from the following collections:

Sarah Jessica Parker CollectionThis collection includes 12 Mother’s Day cards created by a stylish mom herself — Sarah Jessica Parker. Parker worked with the Hallmark creative team to pair vintage artwork from the Hallmark archives with modern touches and embellishments. The designs feature simple, authentic and heartfelt messages, perfect for your mom and friends.

Hallmark Signature CollectionCelebrate mom or grandma with a card as unique as she is. With beautiful papers, rich textures and unique embellishments, each card in the Hallmark Signature Collection is handcrafted to be extra special, just like mom.

(My favorite card)

Magic Prints Collection: Magic Prints is a line of greeting cards and gifts designed for kids to give mom or grandma a hand (their handprint) without a mess! New card designs for 2014 include Disney® characters, Peanuts® characters, as well as a baby’s footprint format — perfect for first-time moms.

Now how amazing is this?! The people at Hallmark are hosting quite the giveaway for YOU GUYS! 
Three (3!) lucky winners will win a 10-pack of greeting cards as well as a special gift! 
This is perfect, just in time for mothers day! 
Giveaway is open to U.S Residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end on 5/3 and winners have 48 hours to respond to my email before I choose a new winner. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thank You Giveaway

No, this isn’t an iPad. 
No, this isn’t $500 Cash.
No, this isn’t a years supply of Starbucks.

Lately i’ve seen so many “huge” giveaways with 50+ sponsors just to be able to pay for the prize. 
And although I don’t have anything over the top to share with you guys today, I do want to say thank you. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for leaving your comments. Thank you for making it so easy to open up about things via the internet. 
You see, the internet is a scary place. People can bad talk you, belittle you, and make you feel so worthless. I am so happy my blog has brought me happiness rather than sadness which I sometimes see in the blog-world. And for that I have you all to thank. Each and every one of you who read my blog. 

Again, thank you to EVERYONE who reads my blog. It truly means the world to me. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(All products for this giveaway were purchased by me and I am not being sponsored by any mentioned companies)

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The Dad He Didn’t Have To Be

Ever since a conversation with another guy a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to write this post. However, I knew I needed to write this post when I had cooled off a little bit and my emotions weren’t going to get the best of me. Quite honestly I’m not even sure what I want to say, but I know I need to say it. This post might be a bit ramble-y and for that I apologize, but what I’m about to say has a huge impact on my life and the life of my daughter so I want it to be said…

My husband is a rockstar. My husband is phenomenal. My husband is my world. 
My husband is a DAD to a little girl when he never had to be. 

Backtrack to my conversation with this random guy a few weeks ago:
“Oh you have a daughter? Is it your husbands kid?”
Not only does that question PISS ME THE HELL OFF, but it’s just rude. You don’t ask someone that. And although I could lie to people and say “yes”, for some reason this time I said “not his biological daughter…”
He replies with…
“Wait, let me get this straight….you had a KID with ANOTHER GUY and someone STILL married you? AND he raises your kid? WOW! Hats off to him because I could NEVER do that”

… know why you could probably never do that? Because it takes a real MAN to be in that kind of situation and still make the best of it. From the way you’re talking right now you are a poor excuse for a man, random stranger I just met. It also takes a MAN to love a woman with a child. It takes a MAN to love that child exactly like his own and do the best job he can at raising he/she. 

So rude. Rude, rude, RUUUUDE! 
It literally made my blood boil. It took everything in me not to call my husband over and have him knock the stupid kid out. But because i’m a lady, I decided not do that. 

The thing is this; yes, it’s not “cookie cutter” for relationships to happen the way mine did. But you know what? It did happen. And you know what else? Believe it or not, we are HAPPY. We are a family. We love each other, all three of us. Baby girl and M have a bond like i’ve never seen before. 
He is the designated “story reader” at night. He let’s her ride on him like a horsey around the living room. He’s taught her that dirt and mud are okay and that being afraid of flies is the silliest thing ever. 

So let me say again, my husband is a ROCKSTAR. He never HAD to be a dad. He never HAD to stay around when I told him about baby girl on the first night we met. But he CHOSE to do that. He KNEW what he was getting into. In my opinion, that’s the manliest thing a man can do. 

Before you judge someones relationship or say ANYTHING to their face, please think of their feelings. Think of what they might have been through to get to the point they are in their life. 
I truly thank God each and every single day that my husband was brought into our lives. I couldn’t love that man any more if I tried. One of his most attractive qualities is that he IS such an amazing DAD. 

We love you, M. Thank you for everything you do. You’ll never know the impact you’ve had on our lives or how much we truly truly love you. You are our world. 
A million times over again, THANK YOU. 

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How-To Tuesdays! {Week 2}

It’s week two of our amazing link-up party! Thank you to everyone who linked up last week! I LOVED looking at all the crafts and recipes! Y’all are really amazing people! Caitlin said last week we had over 400 views, that is awesome! Remember to SHARE SHARE SHARE so we can have as many people as possible link up with us each week! 

My features from last week:

Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad | Pellerini Proclaims 

Ask The Kids | Prototype Mama 

DIY Wood Easter Eggs | Sew Crafty Cat
If you are ever featured, please head over to Aprons, Trainers, and Bibs and grab a button to put on your page! 
She has the button featured on her post today


A few guidelines to read before submitting your link:
  • Link to a specific how-to post, not your home page
  • Share up to 3 new posts – keep it fresh – don’t link up the same posts every week
  • No links to promote giveaways, sponsored posts, other link parties, or your shops
  • Visit other links in the party, leave some comments, and share, share, share!
  • Share our button on your post, so that people know where you’re linking up, and so you have a chance to be featured! You must link back to us if you want to be featured!            

By entering a link, you give myself and the other hosts to feature your pictures on our blog. Proper links and credit will be given. 

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Bachelorette Party!

It’s about time I have a wedding related blog post, don’t cha think?!
I’ve been waiting on getting my wedding pictures back so I can do things more smoothly and THEY’RE HERE! Last night M and I sat down with a bottle of champagne and went through all of them. I have never laughed so hard! I was reminded how much I loved our big day and I can’t wait to share our pictures with all of you guys! 

But before I get into all the wonderful wedding pictures, I wanted to start off by talking about my Bachelorette Party! We didn’t do anything “over the top” but I loved what we did and I had SO much fun! I’m not one for public attention, so some of the things that took place were horrifying, like opening up underwear in a restaurant. Haha! 

We first went to dinner at Culinary Dropout and it was wonderful. My closest friends were all there and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

We then headed over to Dierks Bentleys Whiskey Row bar in Old Town Scottsdale. I was expecting it to be a low-key and it was anything but that! When we got there, the band that was playing that night introduced themselves and we quickly made friends. Little did I know the night would lead to us dancing on stage with them, meeting tons of people, and having the time of our lives! 
Thank you to the people at Whiskey Row and to Aces Up for providing an awesome night of amazing live music! 
Also, thank you to Speyer One Media for taking awesome pictures that night! 

Other random pictures from the night:

Thank you everyone who made my night so special! It was the perfect kind of party for me! 

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Let’s Get Shazzy!

Working out is all the rage these days, right? Right. Well Shazzy Fitness has provided me with some awesome workout DVD’s to review and also GIVEAWAY to one of my awesome readers!

Guys, i’ll be the first to admit I am NOT good about working out. Actually, I’m quite terrible about it. Haha. Hey, just being honest! 
But when I DO workout I like two things to happen: make sure it’s fun, and make sure it isn’t too long. (Go ahead, judge me.) That is the two main reasons I LOVED these Shazzy Fitness DVD’s. Each workout is only 10 mins. 10 MINS GUYS! If I can do 10 mins, anyone can do it. Also, I loved how upbeat and lively the music was! Shazzy Fitness only dances to Christian music, which I like because I know it is safe for my kids to listen to in the background, i’m not worried about what they might hear.

-Short, timely workouts
-I actually felt I was getting a workout
-Music is fun but wholesome so I don’t have to worry about my child being around and hearing curse words. (Let’s be honest, a lot of hip-hop music doesn’t sound the best)

-I feel like an idiot trying to keep up with the dancers because I have zero rhythm.

Want to WIN an awesome copy of your own?! Enter in the form below!
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Best Brownies Ever

Have you ever had a recipe so amazing people know THAT dish? These brownies are THAT dish! 

On another note, have you ever had a piece of bake/cookware that you swear by? Because this brownies pan I use is the my holy grail kitchen item. But i’m getting off track here, onto the brownies! 

I’ve been making these brownies for as long as I can remember. (Okay, maybe just since I was like 13 and could bake on my own.) These are my go-to dessert. 
Can you guess which page my brownie recipe is on in the cook book?! 
The amazing pan I was raving about? Couldn’t tell you where it’s from or what brand it is, but BOY OH BOY is it amazing! I only use it for my brownies. Call me crazy, or call me genius. You pick. Either way, my method works. 
Alright, so let’s start the magic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

I usually use the stand mixer for this recipe, but baby girl was asleep when I was baking and I didn’t want to wake her, so hand mixing it was! Place all dry ingredients into a 
bowl, minus the sugar, and mix together until it looks like delicious hot cocoa mix. 

Next melt the butter. I only do mine so it is around this melted:

Cream the butter and sugar together if you’re using your stand mixer, or mix together by hand. Then add the eggs and vanilla. {Fun fact? My momma always told me to add one extra teaspoon of vanilla more than what it calls for. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.}
Also, when you hand mix this stuff together, it looks terrible. Don’t give up, it gets better. 

Ready for it to start getting pretty? Mix these two concoctions together. Go on with your bad self, mix. CREATE MAGIC! 

At this point, go ahead and stop to take a lick or two of the spoon. I know you want it. It’s okay, this is a judgement free zone. Go ahead…i’ll wait….


Now pour the batter into a GREASED pan. Don’t forget to grease it. You do not want brownies stuck to the pan. That would just be an uncalled for and totally avoidable travesty. 

Bake for 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. 
Take out and let cool until devouring enjoying. Or don’t let cool, scoop some ice-cream on top, and sit back and enjoy a little piece of heaven. 

My heaven? These pieces. The corners. 

1 Cup Butter (Melted)                 1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Sugar                               1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Vanilla                    1/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs                                          Optional Nuts
3/4 Cups Cocoa Powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
3. In a stand mixer, or by hand, cream butter and sugar together. Then slowly add eggs, one add a time. Add in vanilla and mix well
4. Place dry ingredients in with the wet, and mix until fully incorporated
5. Pour batter into a greased 13X9 pan
6. Bake for 30 mins or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle
7. Enjoy the heck out of your brownies and share with absolutely no one
8. Kidding, share with everyone you know

There you have it folks, the greatest brownie recipe you will ever need in your life. Make them for your neighbors. Make them for your mother-in-law. Make them for your best friends husbands cousin. Just make them, enjoy them, thank me later. 

Are you a corner or middle person when it comes to brownies?
Do you prefer brownies with or without nuts?!

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