{Guest Post} Mylie's Beach Day

Friday, April 18, 2014

While I'm away on my honeymoon, I've invited a few friends to write some fun guest posts for you to read. Today's post is from Kim over at A Cuppa Kim. This lady not only has one of the cutest pups in the entire world, but has literally (almost) traveled the entire world. Seriously, her travel and pup blog posts are some of my absolute favorites. Read on to see why...

Hey There Striped Flamingo Readers!

CuppaKim and Mylie here. Thanks to their mamas, Mylie and Hewitt have blog and instagram crushes on each other.  There is definitely some romance floating through the cyber air.
Mylie can't resist when April posts sassy shots of Mr. H. I'm pretty sure the feeling goes both ways, too.

The only problem is, Mylie and Hewitt are on opposite coasts. It's an East/West romance, that's for sure.

Mylie, or Smiles as she is often referred to, is a West Coast Schnoodle through and through (in fact, that was the name of her breeder). She is a born and bred California girl.

And like any good California girl, Mylie loves herself some beach time.

The other day, my sister and I decided that Mylie was long overdue for a beach adventure. We picked up sandwiches, and all hopped in the car and headed to the coast, for an extremely beautiful March day.

Mylie tugged on the leash all the way down the hill, where as soon as her paws hit the warm sand, she was jumping up trying to look in our hands and purses, for her beloved ball.

To Mylie, Beach = Fetch.

We know what the Smiles likes, so her ball was in fact in my sister's purse, but we needed to settle in before it was time to play. She could hardly contain herself. There were some serious whimpers while we set up our beach chairs.


This beach in particular is Mylie's favorite. And mine too. I've been going here since I was in high school. Plenty of space, gorgeous views, close to home, and most importantly, dog friendly.

This day was no exception, there were furry critters everywhere. 

So, we played fetch. 
And more fetch.
And then when we thought she was done, even more fetch.


And between fetches, Mylie crawls between our chairs, and finds the littlest pocket of shade to cool off in.


And girlfriend is covered in sand.
Head to toe. Up her nose, on her tongue, even in her eyes.
But she seems completely unphased.

She just loves the beach. Through and through.
The sights, the sounds. The seabreeze blowing through her dirty white fur.

As we drive home, and Mylie sits lazily in the back seat, you can tell she really enjoyed herself, by living up to her nickname, a big smile plastered on her face the whole drive back.

And after a beach day, everything else can seem like the worst.
Because sometimes it is.

Beach Day also = Bath day.
Smiles wont even look at me once I put her in the sink.

She is not a happy camper.

Until the bath is over.
And she gets all her shakes out.

And all is right in the world again, and we wait until the next beach adventure.

Thanks April and Hewitt for allowing me and Mylie to share one of our adventures with you and everyone over here! 

Isn't Mylie the CUTEST? Well, second cutest, of course. Hewitt loves this entire blog post so much...because it's full of pictures of his favorite West Coast girl. However, he's lacking thumbs...so he can't type any comments. Sigh. #dogproblems.

{Guest Post} Wedding Guest Do's and Don'ts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

While I'm away on my honeymoon, I've invited a few friends to write some fun guest posts for you to read. Today's post is from my girl Kelly. Kelly is originally from the East Coast and lives in Austin, TX. She calls herself a Sassy Magnolia, and I absolutely agree with her. I love her witty commentary and am so excited she's agreed to post! So, without further adieu...

Hey y'all! I'm Kelly and I blog over at Miss MP: The Chronicles of a Sassy Magnolia. I'm a southern gal who loves spending time with family and friends, all things related to homemaking, and a big admirer of the forever sassy Ousier Boudreaux. I've been reading April's blog for a couple years now and was thrilled when she invited me to do a guest post today.

Since April is tying the knot, I thought I'd do a post on wedding guest etiquette. In other words, the do's and some don'ts when attending a wedding. Here we go.

First the most important job of being a wedding guest. Always RSVP. Food, seating, and the all important open bar are based upon the guest list, so being a rock star guest and RSVP'ing on time is key.

Next lets talk social media. Before you pull out that smart phone, check before posting photos of the wedding online. A lot of couple will give you their full blessing along with a hashtag to do so. But when in doubt, wait. Some couples are not as social media happy as the rest of us or would prefer to only post professional photos of the big day. Usually you will see something along the lines of this if its ok.

And while at the reception, take advantage of the open bar. Open bars are one of the perks of a wedding. But remember: tipsy is good and makes you more willing to do the chicken dance or cha cha in front of a group of people. However, falling down on the dance floor drunk is bad. Very very bad. Please refer to the below photos if you are wondering the difference.

And while it might seem minor, remember to take your favor. Granted, you may not need a personalized match book or a bag of candy, but the couple put a lot of time and money into those trinkets as a way to say thank you. Take them with you and dispose later on if they don't tickle your fancy. Plus, not all favors are bad. See below.

Ok and now some no nos. Because being that guest is never a good thing.

First, please do not assume you can bring a date or your children. Pay close attention to how a wedding invitation is addressed. Does it say your name followed by "and guest" or "and family"? If it doesn't that means the invitation was just for you. And pretty please do not ask to bring said date or children if they weren't invited originally. I assure you the bride and groom gave some thought to their guest list. If it were in their budget, the bride and groom would have extended the extra invitation.

And please do not forget to silence your phone during the ceremony. Because having Toby's Keith's Whiskey Girl  go off in a small church after the first reading is something I would never wish on anyone. In my defensive, this happened years ago when ring tone music was new and all the rage. #oops

Also, make sure you do not wear white, something too flashy or revealing, or show up under dressed for the wedding. When in doubt, check on what the dress guidelines may be. Usually this information is on the invite. Remember, the bride gets one day in her life to be the center of attention. Let girlfriend have her fun.

And finally ladies, PLEASE don't be that girl during the bouquet toss. You know who I'm talking about. It's not a gladiator ring, it's a wedding reception. Keep it classy. Unless of course you are like Aunt Bee below, who truly thought of a clever way of catching the bouquet. Respect your elders y'all.

Thanks again for April letting me visit today! I can't wait to see photos of the big day!

Wedding Photos (informal)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey friends!! I'm in Jamaica on my honeymoon but I wanted to share a few photos of my wedding with y'all. Of course, I'll do a full recap complete with actual professional photos later on, but here are a few informal cell phone photos from the day. Some are ones I took and others are from friends and family. Enjoy the photos and I'll be back next week. (But come back tomorrow and Friday for some awesome guest posts!)

{Guest Post} I Love Food

While I'm away on my honeymoon, I've invited a few friends to write some fun guest posts for you to read. First up is my (real life) friend Finley. She also happens to be a coworker. So, technically, she's a froworker. :) Finley recently started a blog to document her "practically Paleo" lifestyle and posts all sorts of amazing recipes, tips and tricks centered-around the Paleo lifestyle.  Not sure what Paleo is? That's okay, Finley explains a little about it in her post below. Oh, and she's also an amazing writer and high. lar. ee. yus. For real...


I love food. It's that simple. I always have and I always will. For better or for worse, food has always been a defining element of my life. I'm not claiming that food "runs" my life per say - it's not like I'm some sort of social leper who's only friends are the bacon (lots of bacon) and wine in her kitchen - but I'm also not saying that I don't get irrationally excited about my next meal about two meals ahead of time...feel me?

Anyways - sorry, I got distracted...I was thinking about tomorrow's lunch - I would in no way consider myself a picky eater. I've tried it all. And I've probably loved it all. But in recent years, having gone through four years as a Davidson College student and Division I field hockey player, I did my fair share of indulging. Arguably - no, definitely - too much indulging. While I loved eating what I ate, the way my body reacted to the Student Union pancakes, late night quesadillas and keg beer was a major buzz kill. I tried dieting and following the "healthy" government-regulated food pyramid guidelines, but none of it was sustainable for me. Especially not as a 21-year-old college athlete who had the appetite of the Cookie Monster and who wanted to indulge in every single "social event" (aka beer- and liquor-driven party) as her schedule would allow. Don't judge - if you're not currently, you were in college once too. I see you daydreaming about "the good old days".

I graduated with a smile on my face though. I had my fun and I regretted nothing. But at that point it was time for a change, and, for me, it started with my health. Still under the misguided conception that weight loss would effortlessly be accompanied by things like cutting calories, eliminating high fat foods, eating whole grains and exercising more, I embarked on the journey of Weight Watchers. And to give credit where credit is due, Weight Watchers was effective for me in terms of weight loss - I lost 25+ pounds. I drastically reduced portions and exercised every single day; however, I still felt sluggish, tired and stressed. Tracking every single thing I put in my mouth became exhausting and obsessive. The point at which my boyfriend, Landon, pointed out to me that I could hardly sit through dinner without pulling out my phone and tracking each bite of salad I ate was eye opening. It made me realize I needed to make a change. Again.

Cue my girl Cristina Gillespie, health guru and trainer at one of my favorite places in Charlotte -
MADabolic Inc. (more on this kick ass place later). Cristina went through her own personal transformation driven by real food and overall clean eating. Through her experience, she founded 28toLife - a program designed to help others who seek not only a dietary change, but who are also looking to create a sustainable lifestyle. As she puts it, she aims to help people "break free of the prison" of calorie counting and stressful dieting all together. She encourages "freedom with real food" - and boy, do I feel free!

Cristina's program - which only takes 28 days - really lit a fire under my ass from a health perspective, directly allowing me to make healthier choices that make me feel confident, alive and limitless. She helped me transform my body in a satisfying way that exceeds the number on the scale. What I noticed more so than weight loss was the way my body began to change. Clothes started fitting me differently and I just started to feel leaner and stronger than ever before. Kickstarted by 28toLife, I now follow a
predominantly paleo/primal lifestyle. I say "predominantly" because I am only human. While I no longer crave the grains and sugars of the SAD (Standard American Diet) - I believe that indulgences keep us sane. If I want a craft beer and a slice of pizza from time to time, I guiltlessly enjoy myself. Everyone is different in their paleo:SAD ratio. For me, I'm about 90/10...and for that 10%, I am shameless and guilt-free!

The most beautiful part of my current relationship with food is that there is no guilt and there are no restrictions. I eat until I'm full and I haven't tracked a single calorie since I made my first bacon-wrapped steak and avocado salad. That's right - BRING ON THE FAT!

I'd also like to set forth a disclaimer that I am by no means a paleo "expert." In fact, I'm still a newbie. I still learn something new every day - but I'm happy that you are willing to endure this journey with me (even if you're not paleo and are just interested in the DELICIOUS recipes I will post on a weekly basis)! Stay tuned.

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Um, did I mention that Finley has the best blog name ever?! It's called, "Let There Be Bacon"! Check it out here.
Join us for more amazing posts throughout the week and tune in next week for (the beginning of what I'll assume to be multiple) wedding/honeymoon recap posts!

Still Here!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Friends, I am in the final countdown for my wedding. While I always want to bring you new and interesting content on this blog, I've found that I just haven't had time to blog over the last few days. I've never been so busy IN MY LIFE. 

My days are full of errands, appointments and other miscellaneous tasks and my nights are full of packing for my honeymoon and move. 

I'm SO tired! But I've made a lot of progress. For every table at the reception (candy table, milk and cookies table, cake table, man table) I've organized all necessary items (food, serve ware, etc.) into bins and boxes for easier transport and setup. I have people who have graciously agreed to help me set up (so I'm not doing most of it...which my controlling nature has a hard time with). I have cleanup people, set up people, coordinator people and then me. :) as hard as it is to NOT get in there and "do" with everyone else I know it's for the best. I will just do a little of the setup prep and then leave the rest to my team. 

2 days!!!! Mind blown. 

Today is a day for spray tan, highlights and dinner with friends who are in town for the wedding. I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!! 

MohawkHome Giveaway Winner Announced!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen...


Congratulations Laurali! You've won a MohawkHome rug valued up to $150 and up to size 5x8. I'll be in touch with you soon for info to claim your prize.

Thanks to all of you who entered!

For more information on MohawkHome, visit their website.

{Guest Post} Hewitt's Diary Entry #472

Monday, April 7, 2014

Okay, so this is a guest post that technically wasn't typed by Hewitt. (he has no thumbs...or fingers) But was dictated by him to my computer. So, here is a chapter from Hewitt's daytime diary.

6:13 am: I am awoken by the sound of my mother rousing herself from bed. I've been up grooming for hours, however, at the sound of her moving, I quickly curl back up into a ball facing away from her and pretend to snore. This is a daily occurence. My lifetime goal is to exert only the exact necessary amount of energy to do anything. And rising from my throne bed before it is necessary is a big no-no.

6:47 am: Mother enters my lair and makes some remark about how cute I am in a "little Hewie ball" in her baby voice. It's all I can do to swallow my own vomit in disgust...I continue "sleeping".

7:03 am: Mother (aka Mommy) leaves her bedroom area and departs for the downstairs. This is one of my only chances to get treats, so I stealthily follow her downstairs but stop at the landing. I remain on the landing and don't follow her all the way to the kitchen. I remain on the landing...glaring at her until she comes over and opens the blinds on the small window at the stair landing. This is my daytime portal to the outside world. It must be opened every morning.

7:05 am: I follow her into the kitchen and she lets me out to do "my business". I will refrain from commenting further on what occurs here because it is indeed, MY BUSINESS.

7:07 am: Upon re-entering the house, I make my way over to the pantry and glare again through my developing cataracts. Mommy calls me her little "blue-eyed buddy" because cataracts in dog's eyes can sometimes make them looks sort of cloudy and blue. I do not enjoy her making fun of my disability. She will pay for this one day. She opens the treat container and hands me one. I grab it in my mouth and swiftly make my way into the dining room to eat my delicious snack.

7:10 am: Mommy leaves. Now the fun begins.

7:15 am: I drink some water and sniff under the kitchen cabinets. There are sometimes morsels or crumbs here that the brooms don't catch. If I'm nervous or if it is stormy outside, I will often lick the carpet/baseboards. This is a nervous habit. I make my way over to my daytime portal and doze off.

10:38 am: The sound of the garbage truck in the neighborhood rouses me from my dreams. Those imbecilic jerks. Of course, I must voice my disdain by barking at them until they leave.

10:42 am: They must have received my message, because they leave and I return to my day nap.

12:09 pm: I wake up and realize that the sun is out! I quickly proceed back upstairs to where the sun shines through on the carpet and lay in the sun and doze back off.

1:41 pm: I wake up and move about 4 inches to remain in my patch of sunlight.

4:07 pm: I wake up and move about 6 inches to remain in my patch of sunlight.

5:22 pm: Mother arrives at home. Of course, I hear her car when she pulls in the driveway and I hurry to greet her at the door. If I put on my absolute best and cutest face, she will shower me with treats and not affection. I can only tolerate so much physical touch.

6:03 pm: My favorite part of the day - walkies! Once mom puts on my leash, we go out for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. Here I meet up with some of my dog friends and we sniff butts. Then, I'll check out the smells o' the day and maybe chase a small child on a bike...I might even bark at a squirrel if I'm feeling frisky. I attend to "my business" on walkies as well. Mother, like the simple-minded human she is, always takes plastic bags to pick up "my business". How smart are we dogs that we've trained our humans to pick up our business?! If I laughed, I would laugh at that.

6:39 pm: Dinner time! My tantalizing dinner of salmon and sweet potato dog food is made better with the addition of some water. Mommy puts my food in the microwave for a few seconds until I have a deliciously salmonized gravy. Mommy can't stand the smell but to me, it's perfect.

6:40 pm: My after-dinner grooming commences.

6:44 pm: My after-dinner grooming ends.

6:45 - 9:45 pm: This time consists mostly of napping, but the occasional game of one-sided fetch (because I never actually drop the toy...my mom must distract me with another one) or maybe me catching up on whatever tv shows the humans are watching.

9:46 pm: I prompty retire upstairs to my quarters for bed. Occasionally, I'll pretend to be asleep on the ottoman so Mommy has to carry me upstairs. (I'm never actually asleep. Just sleepy. And cute. Strike while the iron is hot, they say.)

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