Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

I've so enjoyed reading everyone's year in review posts lately. It's a great way to summarize a year in little, digestable nuggets.

Wait, that sounded gross. Digestable nuggets. Yuck.

Moving on...this year has been a wild one. There were some amazing events and some not-so-awesome events. Below is my year in review.

  • I had a root canal (and posted an after-pic for y'all to see!)
  • I went to the zoo (aka, one of my most favorite places on Earth!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

OOTD: Lace & Neutrals

cardigan | lace tank (similar) | jeans | necklace: gift (similar) | shoes (similar, similar)

I know, I know, it's been a LOOONNNNGGGG time since I've done an outfit post. And quite frankly, I've missed it. I took advantage of a day of PTO I had over the Christmas holiday and got a couple done in one day, so, we're covered for a few weeks at least. ;) 

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

First off, I'm slapping my own hand for just now getting around to blogging about Christmas...which was 2 days ago.

But this Christmas was an interesting one. M and I set a new tradition (that we hope to continue into our marriage) and we also had a few gift "snafoos" that we are dealing with. Hey, I never said it was a BORING Christmas. :) Some key events, photos and comments are below:

1. I love that M indulges my obsession with My Little Pony (Rainbow Dash, specifically) and gives me MLP gifts! I got 2 Rainbow Dash gifts this Christmas, the first came the the Monday before Christmas and it was a Rainbow Dash plush from Build-a-Bear.

Yes, I am 28 years old and I stood in line with all of the little kids and their grandparents getting precious little teddy bears and rabbits and Christmas reindeer at the Build-a-Bear store. Don't hate. I proudly stood in line to get my Rainbow Dash stuffed, sewed and loved on. Ain't no shame in this game! This is the first time I've ever been inside a Build-a-Bear store so it was quite the experience. A little while later, I emerged with my very own adorable plush version of Rainbow Dash.

The other MLP gift came on Christmas Eve, when M and I exchanged gifts. We must have the "ESPN" because we both got each other shoes. (!!!) However, I'll comment on the shoes that I got for him a little later...

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2

New International Version (NIV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas, friends!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Yesterday, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Robertson clan and star of the A&E television show Duck Dynasty, was suspended from production by A&E and criticized heavily for his comments during an interview with GQ. See the news article here.

Below are my thoughts on the matter. Click "Read More" to view entire post.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Invitations

Deciding on the invitations was surprisingly harder than I thought it would be. M and I had a hard time finding something that went with our wedding theme but also was...well, us.

First of all, I decided not to send out Save the Dates. Personally, I just didn't really want to spend the money on it when I'd turn around 2-3 months later and send an invitation. So, I opted out of them and will send my invites a little earlier than what is "customary" for sending them. (Nothing wrong with Save the Dates, they just weren't on my radar or budget.)

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday: Cookie and Candy Kryptonite

Something that may not be as apparent on my blog as it is in real life is my sweet tooth.

Actually, it's probably more appropriate to call it my raging, humongous mouth of sweet teeth. I say this with no shame...because I am addicted to sweets.

I can usually count on my self-control and intestinal fortitude to keep me from over-indulging most of the time but there are a few delicious sweets that cause me to lose all self-control and consume as many as I possibly can. These are the things that I do not bake (or buy) because I would probably eat all of them. With it being the Christmas season, my exposure to these delectable delights is higher and thus the danger lurks at every corner.

If you ever wanted to ruin my diet, you might buy me some of the following sweets that seriously cause me to lose my cotton-headed ninny muggin mind.

1. Oreo Truffles
recipe: just to be mean... :)
I could probably literally eat my weight in these things. And then I'd get sick and throw them up...and then I'd just eat more.
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a BUSY one, y'all.

It included both wedding stuff AND holiday stuff, so there was much merriment going around in my neck of the woods.

Saturday morning, I had a nail appointment, then I had my first bridal shower. It was a Pampered Chef shower and it was so cool. I love their kitchen stuff and there was great food! Win-WIN!

After the shower I had to hustle back home to get ready for M's company Christmas party. His company is fairly large so it was held at a very, VERY nice hotel in my city. (Actually, the nicest hotel I've ever been in...to date.) In true form, I wore the same dress I wore to my company Christmas party the week before.

Ain't no shame in my game, y'all.

But I DID get a full body shot of the dress/shoes this time. Sweet!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Fugly

Often I find myself randomly musing over things currently going on in my life. Often I decide to blog about these things. Today is one of those days.


I've been on a diet lately...which I've affectionately referred to as Sweating for the Wedding. So far, I've lost about 5 pounds. Five down, a billion (seemingly) to go. No, but as much as I want to be fit and more in shape for the wedding it makes me nervous that I might lose so much weight that I won't be able to fit in my wedding dress. I think I'm either being paranoid or trying to talk myself out of really being gung-ho about it. Perhaps this should go into the bad section? HA!

My first wedding shower is this weekend and it's a Pampered Chef shower. I'm so excited! I LOVE PC stuff!

My wedding dress is now in my possession. I wasn't sure if I'd mentioned that yet. I picked it up last weekend. Interestingly enough, when I was walking out of the bridal store WITH my dress through the parking lot, I ran into M's parents. Of all people to run into...HAHA! But it was in a garment bag, so no peeks were had.

I'm almost completely finished with Christmas shopping. I still have to get a few stocking stuffers, but that's it. The lone person I've still not finished shopping for is seriously the hardest person ever to find gifts for. (I'm looking at you, sister.) So, she'll probably get gift cards, which aren't as fun to give as gifts, but at least you know the other person is happy, right?

I'm loving all the Christmas movies on tv. I watched the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch last night and while I don't love it as much as the original (despite my deep love for Jim Carrey) I do love when they do flashbacks to the Grinch as a kid. Oh man. He's so CUTE and mean. Kind of like Hewitt. :)

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Paring Down the Colors

I'm a huge fan of COLOR! So when I initially started coming up with wedding color schemes, I decided on lots of colors. Why not have a wedding full of fun and color, right? I did have a direction to go in and one request from the future husband to be.

M initially said he wanted to pay tribute to his hunting hobby by incorporating safety orange...a color often worn while hunting. (he initially said camo...and...well....yeah)

My thoughts were, okay, orange. I don't particularly love orange but I can make it work. So I decided a color palette that incorporated lots of the colors I love and M's safety orange (which was actually dulled down a bit). I decided on a palette that looked a little like this.

I loved all the bright colors and felt like it was very me. It incorporates the orange but doesn't allow it to stand out too much from the other colors. This was to be my color palette for the wedding, until I started looking at decor and had a chat with a good friend of mine who does a lot of entertaining/party planning/decorating.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reviving a Cardigan: Yes or No?

Two of my favorite cardigans of all time have both developed a number of ailments that may or may not be curable.

The first one, seen in the image below, has holes on the elbows. I can sew the holes up but I would imagine it might make the fabric pucker weirdly. I don't really know another option for it besides that. Other than the holes, the cardi is pretty good shape...and I'm not really ready to throw it out yet.
[gasp! a cardigan funeral!?!?!]

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Recap: Holiday Party

The first of 2 holiday parties was this weekend. My company Christmas party. And, oh, how eventful it was, people. Let's just say some people are going to be pretty embarrassed to walk into work on Monday. 

Not me! But, some coworkers of mine. Geez...

Anywho, you must forgive my scary and slightly demonic eyes. The flash made my eyes red and I tried to correct it in a photo editor. I think it just ended up making me look like I have crazy eyes. For real.

Also, if you follow me on Instragram, you'll see this dress again next weekend at M's company Christmas party. I'm getting my money's worth out of this dress. 

Oh and the dress. It came from...Dress Barn! Of all places! They've really stepped up their game in terms of stylish pieces and I was surprised at the number of really cute holiday dresses they had. While they tend to be a bit pricey (this dress was $70)...I figure that wearing it to multiple Christmas parties sort of helps to soften the financial blow. Right? 

I'm hoping I'll get a full-length shot next weekend to show y'all. HAHA. Fingers crossed!

I don't really have any pics of the party itself. Honestly, a lot of my time was consumed watching the aforementioned drunk coworkers make fools of themselves. So, I'm also hoping to take better pics this weekend. Fingers crossed! ;)

Hope your weekend was fun, but not quite as crazy as my coworker's was. HAHA!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Red Lipstick: The Right Shade for Your Skintone

'Tis the season for holiday parties.

As a matter of fact, my work party is tonight. One of my favorite ways to look "holidayish" is to wear red lipstick. It gives it that extra pretty punch of fancy. :)

I've tried many, MANY different shades of red lipstick in my 28 years and it took a surprisingly long time to realize that if you wear the right shade of red it can make you look like a million bucks. Conversely, the wrong shade of red can make you look washed out or make your teeth look yellow.

Most red lipsticks are either "cool", "warm" or "neutral"...though, in my opinion, there are very few true neutrals. Cool reds flatter those with cool skintones. These have blue or purple undertones to them. Warm red flatter those with warmer skintones. These shades have more gold undertones. Neutrals have an equal mix of both cool and warm undertones.

So, which shade works best for your skintone? Well, first you need to determine what skintone you fall under, if you don't already know. The easiest way to tell is to look at the inside of your wrist. If your veins look blue or purple and the skin has a pink tinge, you're a cool. If your veins look green or olive colored and your skin has yellow, gold or peach tinge, you're a warm. This article does a great job of explaining AND has photos. :)

Warm reds might have coral or orange-y hints to them. Cool reds can often look deeper or more like a blood or brick red. This might sound completely confusing, but I promise, there is a shade of red for you! It's just a matter of knowing what flatters your skintone.

I hope this helps or gives you something to ruminate on next time you go looking for red lipstick. Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Hair

Well, friends. Here we are. Another Wednesday and another edition of Wedding Wednesday.

First off, I've got some great news...are you ready?

I found the dress! Yes ma'ams and sirs, it has been found and purchased. And get this, it just came in on Monday. They said it might take 3-4 months but they had one somewhere?? IDK...I just know that it's HERE and it will be in my possession very soon. So exciting and a HUGE relief that it's done.

Only, I'm not going to show y'all my dress here on the blog. M reads my blog and he wants to be surprised. Eh, who am I kidding? I want to surprise him too.

So, pictures of the dress I will not show, sadly.

However, I can talk about another of the most important parts of a bride's ensemble...THE HAIR!

I'll be wearing a headpiece/comb thing (not like it sounds, y'all) with a detachable veil for the reception so I've got to have some killer hair. Below are some pins of wedding hair that I like and in true Southern fashion...most of them are big hair and a few of them are the beloved Carrie's hairstyles. What can I say? Girl's got a great head of hair!

Silky smooth hair for every occasion! #Hair #Beauty #Hairstyle #Style Find hair products & more at www.beauty.com

apparently I like carrie underwood's hair.

Carrie Underwood side ponytail with waves

I'll probably do something like this? Christi - what do you think?

side updo - soft and romantic

So, we're going to have to take into account a few things: 
1) The good Lord did not bless me with luxuriously thick hair so I'll need some artificial hair help on the big day. It's a good thing my sister is not only a hairdresser, but has first-hand experience with human hair extensions. Dang...did I just call her out? Sorry, sister. This will probably end up being either some clip in extensions or some of the bead extensions the sister uses. They won't damage my hair but will give it a little extra thickness and length on the big day.
2) I like hair to be soft and a little messy, but not unkempt. I don't want to look back at photos and wonder why no one told me to run a brush through my hair. It needs to look intentionally messy instead of accidentally messy. Does that even make sense?
3) With that, I don't love severe, complex or very elaborate hairstyles. Beautiful on many people but just not me. I also am not really a huge fan of pin curls. Again, just not for me...
4) I'm leaning towards a side bun/side pony/side updo (obviously) for a number of reasons. The main one being that I look like a boy when my hair is completely up and I don't want to wear it down because I'll have to mess with it. A messy side pony or bun is a nice compromise, in my opinion. 

What are you thoughts on wedding hair? Do you think people (cough...me...cough) care way too much about it or is a legitimate item of concern and contemplation for a bride? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Happenings

Hello friends!

I'm writing to you from my warm, comfortable bed. I took the day off work to get errands done and I don't regret it one bit.

I hope all of you had wonderful holiday weekends. I sure did! Below are some snapshots from the weekend:

The turkey hat made an appearance on Thanksgiving. However, I'm not sure that M approved of my wearing it. :)

Sisters on Thanksgiving. 

The best news photobomb ever! The commentator was at a local outlet mall for early Black Friday coverage and this guy just walked up, turned around and stood there behind him for a long time. He didn't move at all. It was awesome and hilarious! 

My niece, Lucy. She's such a love bug!

The tree is now up! Having the pretty lights makes an evening by the fire even better!

The sister and I showed off our Gamecock pride by busting out scarves for gameday. And what a game it was, no? GO GAMECOCKS! Palmetto Bowl winners FIVE TIMES IN A ROW!

How was your holiday weekend?