Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who Do Ya Love Wednesday - Guest Blogger #1 Brie

I am so excited to bring this new series of guest bloggers to you guys - I hope that you will find some new & fun bloggers to follow! This is going to be a 6 week series initially so each Wednesday I'm featuring a new gal. I decided to call it "Who Do Ya Love Wednesday" because I have really connected with each of these first 6 and grown to love them. awww!
First up is Brie from Recipe for a Beautiful Life - She and I met through a SITS girls challenge, and I honestly feel like we would be such great friends in real life. I know you will love her just as much as I do! Enjoy!
Hi Pink Growl readers! I'm Brie, and I blog over at Recipe for a Beautiful Life. I want to thank Nikki for giving me the opportunity to do a guest blog post for her! We have become great blogger friends and I hope one day we can have a blogger rendezvous in real life! I’m betting we’d have a blast!
I was so excited to hear about Nikki’s engagement, which she told you all about here, and it got me reminiscing about my own wonderful engagement story!

B proposed over Labor Day weekend of 2009. We had been dating for about 13 months at the time. When we met, we were both at stressful points in our lives. B had just moved to the DC area and was getting settled into his new command (he’s in the Navy). I was starting grad school and an internship (that turned into a full-time job). In the months that followed, B was often away for training, all over the country, sometimes for a month at time. I started working full-time while still getting my master’s degree full-time at night. It was a crazy schedule for both of us, but somehow the relationship just worked. After about 6 months together I knew he was the one. I knew he was the reason all those other dates had failed. He was the reason nothing else felt right. He was the reason God had left some prayers unanswered.

As the summer of 2009 wound down, B and I were preparing to face our biggest relationship challenge to date: he was deploying to Iraq for seven months. We had talked marriage, I knew how we felt about each other, and we were already living together, but B had voiced concerns about getting engaged before he left. He didn’t want it to be rushed or forced just because he was leaving (or for it to be perceived that way). I understood his point, but of course I secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wanted it to happen.

At the end of August we went on a trip to Siesta Key on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It was our last little hoorah before he had to leave. I thought if a proposal was going to happen maybe it would be while on a fabulous vacation. No proposal came, and though disappointed, I was really ok with it. I resigned myself to the fact that it would happen after we came through the deployment just as in love and stronger than ever.

Happily unengaged Summer 2009

Labor Day weekend was crazy for me. I was working for a MLB team at the time and had to work all weekend. When Sunday afternoon rolled around, and I finally got off, I had worked probably about 12 days straight. I was tired. I was cranky (and sweaty from running around outside all day for work). We had plans to go to my parent’s home to have a BBQ and so Bill could say his goodbyes (did I mention he was leaving in 5 days?!). When I checked the traffic, after work, and saw red going through Annapolis and over the Bay Bridge to where my parents lived, I was none too thrilled. For a split second considered bailing on the visit. Thankfully my rational mind won over and we set out.

When we arrived, I immediately knew it was the right decision. My parents live on the water and the gorgeous scenery just has a way of washing away your stresses. The weather was beautiful that day, and we played croquet and sipped on my Dad’s famous Mai Thais. I was already in heaven (at least when I didn’t think about the impending deployment). We went about our merry day and I suspected nothing. A few times I came back from being inside or walked into the kitchen to find Bill spiritedly speaking with my Mom or Dad, but since Bill is very close with my parents, it didn’t seem strange.

Just before dinner, I was sitting on the patio helping my mom shuck corn. B came from the house and told me we should walk down to the water to “see jumping fish” my Dad had (supposedly) told him about. Now this may seem weird to some people (jumping fish??), but if you know my parents, and how enamored they are with all the wildlife around their home, it would not strike you as out of character. “Ok, sure” I said. We made the short trek down across their huge backyard to the dock. B held my hand as we walked and I thought about how wonderful the day was turning out. The sun was getting low in the sky and illuminated the water and trees around the shore. We sat on the bench, on the pier, and I stared out across the water, to my left. B started telling me how much he loved me and I caught him, on my right, moving out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t till he said my name twice that I turned to find him down on one knee holding a diamond ring. This part is a little blurry, but apparently I asked “are you serious?” about five times. Of course I followed that up with a big “yes!” We took a few minutes to enjoy the moment and let it all sink in. When we walked back up to the house I was the happiest I had ever felt. My parents, knowing what was going on, had called my sister and she joined us to celebrate and toast with Champagne!

Since we got zero pictures from the actual proposal, B cutely reenacted it during our engagement photo shoot (I had trouble keeping a straight face!
B had picked the perfect place to propose: the place where I had grown up, surrounded, by the people I love most. I didn’t need a fancy dinner or big, public proposal. I spent many summers down on that dock and it suddenly meant even more. One year and twelve days later we got married at my parent’s home and took pictures on the dock, on the bench, where he asked me to be his wife.
Thank you again Nikki for letting me share my story! Can't wait to follow all of your wedding plans!

Isn't she so sweet? I love her enagement story and her beautiful wedding pictures! I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't think it was a serious question when asked. Make sure you go over to Brie's blog and check it out. Especially her Workout Wednesdays! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Let's Avoid Monday and Catch Up!

Ok so it's my usual routine not to blog on the weekends, unless something just strikes me as amazing. Typically that's my family and home time and I hold that very sacred. However, so much happened this weekend that I must fill you in!

1. We have *potentially* set our future wedding date! AHHHH the excitement! I am 90% sure this will be the date, but not 100% yet so I don't want to say it and jinx it in some way. My original idea was to get married this year in 2012. BUT I ran into a slight problem because a) I don't want to get married in the sweltering humidity of July/August in East TN, b) fall = football season. Enough said. The 2 by-weeks in the schedule are when EVERYONE gets married so I want my date to be special and c) my final 2012 date option was 12/15/12, but I'm not real big on a Christmas wedding just due to scheduling and the decor. So we are going to be having a 2013 wedding. This sounds like a long time, but in reality I think hope it will fly by!

2. If you know me at all, then you know I'm completely obsessed with the Real Housewives. All seasons, all locations - I can't get enough of. One of my favorites - Real Housewives of New Jersey is coming back in April and I could not be more excited. I get so excited watching those episodes that I literally can't go to sleep. I have a real problem here! Also, I heard some news over the weekend that Camille Grammar will not be coming back to join the cast of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I actually grew to really like Camille and I am sad that she's not coming back. This past season, she was very much a "normal" personality on the show.

3. We had TWO date nights this weekend, which is rare. However, I did not make it to see The Hunger Games movie. Have no fear, I am going tomorrow night though! I've heard some things about it, but I am trying to avoid the updates on it until I actually see it for myself.
Date Night #2  - why does my love always look so squinty?? Love him!
4. There are some new exciting things coming to The Pink Growl very soon! First up, starting this Wednesday, I am going to be hosting a 6 week series featuring guest bloggers! I've never done this before but it will be fun. Some of the 6 guest posters you might have heard me talk about before and a couple of them might be unknown to you - however they are all AWESOME and I can't wait to share them with you. Also, coming up I am going to be doing a guest post (also my first) and my first sponsorship on a blog. I will share the details with you when they are all ironed out. Here's to making new friends in the bloggy world!

I guess I've managed to avoid Monday all that I can right now...

Friday, March 23, 2012

5 Question Friday/Fur Baby Friday!

Happy Friday loves! It's supposed to rain here all weekend, which sucks, but I totally plan on doing a couple little home improvement projects that I can tell you all about next week. Wish me luck, cause I will need it! I have a new found love for meal planning and I've been cooking lots of new recipes so I'm also going to be doing a little of that. Oh yeah, and maybe a little wedding planning too.

It's that time again peeps and I'm ready to see those fur babies! This week I am showing you how my sweet Tilly likes to sit on the couch cushion like a human. She's a very unique little pup. And Lord knows she sure is cute! It's about time for my girl to get her summer lion cut and I can't wait to show you the pictures. I love it when poms rock the long hair, but it requires lots of brushing and maintenance. Plus, my little one loves to play outside and she gets so hot in the humid TN summers with her long hair. PS - notice that black streak on the end of her tail? It looks like she just dipped her tail in black paint.

1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?
I would love to be able to hop in the car and just get away this weekend. I'm really feeling like a need a break...a beach break would be AH-MAY-ZING! However, the closest beach is probably 7 hours away and that's not good for me! So maybe I would drive myself down to ATL for some retail therapy because I've had a very stressful week. If I could hop in a place and go anywhere, it would be somewhere tropical. Mexico maybe?

2. What's your most recently read favorite book?
Like everyone else on the planet, I've recently been overly obsessed with The Hunger Games. I just finished reading Mockingjay last week. I am SO SO SO SO excited to see the movie this weekend! Happy Hunger Games!

3. What's your favorite Spring Break memory?
My favorite spring break memories are from high school. I was in Showchoir and every year we would go to Disney World for spring break to sign in a competition. It was so much fun to go to Disney World for a whole week with 30 of your best friends. We would bus down, which is like an 11 hour drive, and you know that nothing can replace the memories made on a bus trip when you're 15-16-17 years old.

4. What do you put in your child's Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?
I always had the BEST Easter baskets. I would get one at home, one at my grandparents and one at my aunt's house. Spoiled much?? My brother and I would get toys, sometimes clothing items, enough candy to give you a belly ache for a week, books, cds. My favorite thing was always the big chocolate bunnies. The hollow on the inside ones with the colored eyes you can eat? OMG, LOVE those!

5. Do you get a summer haircut?
I get my hair trimmed usually every 6-8 weeks so there's always a summer trim in there. I think it's pretty typical to go lighter with your color in the summer too. I'm going next week to get my hair done and I can't wait to be super blond for summer!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Love Story Part 4- The Proposal Story

So now that you have a little background on Skye and I, you will definitely be able to better appreciate my proposal story! It’s so ironic that I decided to do this Love Story series at the time that I did, and during that time I got engaged. But like I said, now that you have some background you will get a kick out of the proposal story! I’m not a mushy person at all, so I have tried to keep the details to a minimum on the blog. However, this boy just has an uncanny ability to make me gush so I hope I didn’t bore you or disgust you while telling our story. If that didn’t maybe this last piece of the puzzle will push you over the edge – HAHA!

If you need to play catch up or just refresh your memory here is Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

In the months leading up to the engagement, I want to be honest about how I was feeling. I was starting to get pissy and anxious about why it hadn’t happened yet. I know I’ve talked on here about us being in such a good place, and we were, but still a girl wants to get married after being together for so long, ya know? There have probably been about 4 points in our entire relationship that I’ve felt this way. Nothing in particular within our relationship has seemed to trigger these feelings, just the sudden uproar of engagements, weddings, babies around me. It’s funny because Skye & I actually got into a fight about 3 weeks before he popped the question about why he seemed unable to make this commitment. I was feeling fed up and I basically said I wasn’t going to wait around forever on this to happen. Little did I know, he’d already bought my ring. I feel really dumb about this now, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Saturday March 3, 2012 – 8 years, 2 months & 2.5 weeks after I met Skye for the very first time-
This Saturday began just like any other Saturday that Skye is off work. As I’ve mentioned before his job calls for rotating shifts, so we only end up getting about every 3rd weekend off together. It’s just part of it and we knew this going into it. However it’s is still fairly new for us – since December 2011- so there has definitely been some adjusting going on. Needless to say, I am thrilled when I have him off on a Saturday! If you remember from this we had plans that day to take sweet Tilly to a little festival downtown called Mardi Growl. If you follow me at all (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here) then you know we had a blast at Mardi Growl! It was so much fun and it was a gorgeous day! We go home afterwards and I start getting into my normal Saturday routine of cleaning and laundry. About 3 o’clock that afternoon, we are just sitting around the house watching TV and Skye asks me if I’d like to go on a date that night. Of course I say sure and begin asking all my questions. What should I wear? Should I dress up? Where are we going? I’m told that it’s nothing special, just a simple date since we haven’t been on one in a little while. I’m wearing the same outfit that I wore to Mardi Growl – jeans, a button up flannel shirt and my black sparkle Toms. (picture from Mardi Growl).

We decide on a late dinner and leave the house about 7:30 with “no destination in mind”. Skye is driving and before I know it we are pulling into the Italian restaurant where we first met & where we ate the night he gave me my promise ring. Those are the only two times we’ve ever eaten at this place – although it’s incredibly delicious. At this point, I become a little suspicious because it seems this date could be more than ordinary? I bring this up and he assures me that it’s no big deal. He just wanted to bring me here because he felt like he hadn’t done anything special for me in a while. I’m almost waiting on friends/family to jump out with a surprise or something… Once we begin to order and nothing strange happens, I just believe his story that nothing is going on. We eat a fabulous dinner of pasta and have a few drinks. (Looking back, it’s funny because a huge warning sign to me should have been that Skye was pressing me to order a bottle of wine. He’s typically not a wine drinker so I turned down his offer and he settled for a beer and I got a mixed drink. He was adamant about getting an entire bottle of wine though. Probably to calm his nerves- Oh well!) The conversation is flowing like normal and our date is going great. When it comes time to leave, I ask if he wants me to look up movies playing or what the plan is. I’m told he has something in mind, but he wants to keep it a surprise. I go along with this, without too much of a fuss. I’m a planner you know so I like to be in on our plans. I’m all for a good surprise, but sometimes it’s hard for me to go along with. In the car we listen to an old Jagged Edge cd that we always used to listen to when we first started dating. “Our Song” Healing by Jagged Edge, is on this cd, and I just thought he was being so sweet and nostalgic. As we begin to drive towards Skye’s hometown – about 30 minutes from where we were eating – my questions begin to pop back up. Where are we going? Why are we going towards this town? Who are we meeting? I couldn’t help it. I’m naturally like that, and I had no idea what was in store for me.

Finally, we arrived at our destination. An overlook at a dam in Skye’s hometown that we used to always hang out at in our early days of dating. We used to fish from the bank of the lake by the dam, play tennis at the courts by the dam, hang out in the park that runs up to the lake on a sunny day, make out in the parking lot at dark (TMI probably sorry, but it’s true!). We would literally spend hours here at the beginning of our courtship. So anyhow we end up at the overlook of the dam, and by now it’s getting dark outside so the view of the dam is so pretty from the overlook area. He asks if I want to get out of the car for a little bit and we get out to stand in the shine of the headlights. The sky is gorgeous that night and from here we could see all kinds of pretty stars. This is when I really begin to think something was up because homeboy starts acting 20 different kinds of awkward. He can’t put a full sentence together without long pauses – he starts talking about our relationship and then stops. He’s looking around everywhere and he seems nervous as hell. It throws me off because my Skye is rarely awkward & nervous. He’s typically the epitome of calm and collected. Honest to God, I thought he might be trying to find a way to break up with me. As I mentioned above, we had gotten into a heated argument a few weeks earlier about the progression of our relationship so I just knew that had gotten to him. Somehow, he starts to pull it together a little better and by now we are facing each other holding hands. He begins to twist my promise ring around my finger and asks me if I remember the day he gave it to me, talks about how long we’ve been together and how much he appreciates me being so dedicated to him throughout this police academy process, etc. I can hear him talking but in my head I’m terrified of where he’s going with his conversation.

Then, much to my surprise, he gets down on one knee and pulls out a box with a HUGE blinging ring. “Nikki, will you marry me?” I screamed, started crying, then laughing and managed to say are you serious??? I half cried-half laughed some more and jumped into his arms to hug him. Keep in mind he’s still down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it, my head was spinning, and I was so taken aback! Then he says “does that mean yes?” I asked him if he thought I would say no, and his response was no, but I’d still like to hear a yes. Of course I screamed YES and more tears came.

Now everything made a little more sense. He took me an old school date to the restaurant that has a very special meaning to us, pumped me up while listening to music that takes me back to our first year together, delivered the most important speech a girl hears in her life in a setting that we’ve already made many memories together. That’s why he wanted a bottle of wine at dinner, that’s why he kept the headlights on in the car so I could see my ring in the dark (even thought I insisted to tell him that his battery was going to die from it). Everything became so clear all of a sudden! It’s hard to tell it and get all the details right because it feels like a whirlwind now. It was honestly so thoughtful and meaningful to me. I gave him rapid fire questions all night and he managed to dodge them all and still give me the surprise of a lifetime.

Everyone keeps asking me if I had any idea it was coming. We had looked at rings maybe 4 times over the past year, but never picking out "the one". He picked out my ring all by himself! He’d planned this for about a month- waiting on the right day to spend together, buying the ring, talking to my dad, brother and some friends. All the while, I was clueless. Looking back, I guess I can see signals that something was up that night, but in the moment my mind never went there. It was the most amazing moment! Of course on the car ride home, we call and text everybody and make it Facebook official.

I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling at all since that day almost 3 weeks ago. It feels SO DAMN GOOD to finally be planning the wedding of my dreams to the man I always knew I’d end up with! The advice I’ve been given from most people is to try and savor this sweet time in my life, so that’s what I’m trying to do. I don't ever want to be that bridezilla girl who gets all caught up in the planning. Not to say that I will never get stressed out, but all I want is to look beautiful for my future husband and for all of our important guests – the people who have loved, guided and supported us along this 8 year journey- to have the time of their lives celebrating with us. The rest will fall into place.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Must Haves

Now that 70-80 degree weather seems to be the norm, I'm ready to get a spring tan! The transition from winter to spring always takes a lot of prepping for us girls. We must get some color on our legs before we can show them off, get pedicures on our hidden winter toes, and getting our bodies all buffed & polished to be able to handle less clothing that warm weather brings. And of course go out and buy the cute new springy clothes.
Here are some of my beauty products that are spring prep must haves!

I cannot say enough good things about this sugar scrub! I was looking for a really good leg exfoliation treatment for summer. I envy the look of slightly oily smooth tan legs! This girl has pasty white ashy legs right about now. So in order to get me in gear for summer legs, I’m using this. If you are one of those people who does not like a slightly oily feel to your legs then this is not the product for you. So far it’s proving be an excellent exfoliater, plus it has some natural oils in it so it leaves a little bit of a sheen on your legs (or where ever you use it). That way you don’t have to use as much lotion. My main motive here was my legs.

Since apparently, I’m obsessed with being scrubbed clean of all my dead skin… I’ve also been using this as a body wash. It’s very creamy, smells great and actually does a pretty good job exfoliating your body. I like to mix it up with the body wash every now and then, but I'd never tried this kind before. I actually bought it while grocery shopping a couple weeks ago and so far I like it.

CHI – 44 Iron Guard – Thermal Heat Spray
I’ve been using this stuff since the last time I had my hair done and I can actually notice less breakages than usual. Which makes me beyond thrilled! This was recommended to me by my wonderful stylist as one of her personal favorite protecting sprays for heat products, like curling irons and flat irons. You just spray it on after your dry hair before you heat style, and brush through. It leaves a very silky looking effect, without being greasy looking or feeling. It’s very light weight, which I need because my hair is so fine. The awesome thing is, you can buy this at Target!

Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Pure White
I love the dewy and bright eyed look that a white eyeliner pencil can offer. If you have brown eyes, like me, then you can really tell a difference if you eyes are tired looking. And based on the pictures that I've seen, it works just as well on blue & green eyes. It's a very fresh look and it's super easy to apply to your inner corners of the eye or on your lower lash line.

Inner corners of eyes

lower lash line

What are your spring ready must haves??

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching Fire & Mockingjay - Possible Spoiler Alert!

I know that everyone is probably getting sick of hearing about these books and this upcoming movie! So I apologize for my obsession with it, but I just have to add in my thoughts on the 2nd & 3rd books in the series. I started a couple weeks ago reading the first book, and I told you all about how I was instantly obsessed with it. I finished reading Mockingjay the 3rd book from the Hunger Games triology last week. I must say that out of all 3 books, the first one was my favorite. I will try not to spoil anything here – but if you haven’t read Catching Fire and Mockingjay yet then you may not want to keep reading this….

I was a little hesitant to even get on board with this series because it just sounded like something that I would not typically enjoy. I’m not into the sci-fi or futuristic genre and these books have a lot of those elements. However, people just kept telling me about them so I had to give them a chance. I read the first book in maybe 3 days. I couldn’t put it down and I was so excited to jump into Catching Fire to see where the storyline took Katniss and Peeta. However, it all began to get just a little bit far fetched for me. Some of the scenes were a little bit hard for me to create in my imagination. I don’t want to say I didn’t like it because that’s not true. It might be one of those stories that I need to read a second time before I can fully embrace everything. I still really enjoyed the series as a whole, but I did find it a little bit harder to read the 2nd & 3rd books. I was slightly disappointed by the ending too and the way things worked out. I was really hot and heavy on the Peeta storyline. Team Peeta! Even though that ended up playing out okay – it just wasn’t the happiest ending. I did love Katniss’s character and her role as the female hero overcoming all types of adversity.

I am really really excited to see the movie though! I know that the books are usually always better than the movies, but I am interested to see how well they do at creating this unique world. I’m sure we will all be talking about it after next weekend!

What did you think of Catching Fire & Mockingjay? Were you disappointed by the ending or were you satisfied? I may be in the minority here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Workouts

The past 2 weeks since my engagement have been filled with celebrations. I’ve been making the rounds to show off the ring and talk wedding planning. It all makes me very excited; however this has not exactly been good for my eternal quest to be thinner. I have been eating like a linebacker and have found little time to make it to the gym. I can feel it in my body when I’m eating like shit and not working out. It feels so blah.

I know that some of you guys aren’t from around where I am, but I have recently been obsessed with Krystal’s. I have no idea why – there have been some phases in my life when I would flat our refuse to eat there because the food was so bad for you. Oh how quick I am to forget these things as soon as I see their billboard on my drive to work everyday with the cute little cheeseburgers. (It’s very similar to White Castle if you have one of those near you.) I was nervous to get on the scale this morning and see the damage I had done with my weeks of overly careless eating. Luckily, I haven't gained a pound! I feel all bloated and just full of calories though. Like it’s going to all stick to my ass and catch up to me at any minute.

Starting Monday, I am going to be hopping back on the healthy train. I’ve lost about 6 lbs. since I made my 2012 goals to lose “the final 10 pounds”. However, I have now challenged myself to lose 10 lbs from the point that I’m at this week. I would like to have this 10 lbs shed by the end of May. That will put me full on into summer and lake season so hopefully my bikini body will magically show up! Plus, it never hurts to ramp up the workouts and challenge yourself in the spring. The beautiful weather offers so many exercise options outside of just hitting the gym.
Here are my goals from March 19th until May 31stThat’s 11 weeks so 1 pound a week should not be too difficult at all if I’m doing things the right way.
  • Lose 10 lbs. to reach my goal weight
  • TONE UP MY LEGS AND BUTT FOR BIKINI – this one is a real struggle for me because I am naturally very hippy with shorter, thicker legs. It’s tough to fight genetics!
  • Maintain at least 4 workouts per week – every week – no excuses!!
  • Attempt 5am workouts – I’ve been saying this for at least a year now but if I can manage it then it would make my workouts MUCH easier to get in. Plus, the added energy and early morning workout brings. I would like to attempt this for at least 2 consecutive weeks and see if I can get used to getting up earlier.
  • Go back to counting calories and maintain 1000 calorie per day diet for 11 weeks – increase in daily calories for maintenance after 11 weeks.
  • Drink more water!!
Plus, I am looking into getting a trainer over the next couple of months to workout with. I think this type of commitment would help me stay on track. I have a wedding dress to go shopping for before too long people! Keep me on track!

If I can accomplish these goals then that will put me at a grand total of 43 pounds lost since March 2011. Can you believe that shit???? That’s like a damn toddler!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patty's Day - May your beer be green and your hangovers be lean!

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Question Friday/Fur Baby Friday!

I have a special treat today for Fur Baby Friday - it's a VIDEO! My girl Tilly is insanely obsessed with my blow dryer. She runs in the bathroom and gives me the evil eye every day when I'm drying my hair. She snarls her lip at it and whines, and even tries to attack it when I'm blowing her hair dry after a bath. So of course, I have to taunt her! Enjoy this little funny.

1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
I have gone to the grocery store or somewhere like that post workout. Which trust me, can be a mess. However, I hate it when I see people out in their PJs so I would never just roll out of bed and go somewhere. If I must roll out of bed and go somewhere I will change clothes into something more classy than my pajamas.
2. Do you finish a book if it's boring or you don't like it?
I always try to finish it -even if I'm not that into it. I can only think of 1 book off the top of my head that I simply couldn't make it all the way through. It was a sci-fi type of book, and I'm just not into that. I made it over half way but just couldn't maintain my interest after that.
3. Beach or mountain vacations?
Both! I'm unique in that I love a good tropical vacay or a good snowboarding trip to the mountains. Most people I know definitely prefer the beach! If I had to choose though, I think I would end up at the beach also. Nothing better than the sun, the sand and a drink in my hand.
4. What thing/event says "winter will end and spring is right around the corner" to you?
Daylight savings time. Around here, it usually doesn't stay cold past March - there have been exceptions, but typically once we spring forward we are on the path to Spring. Lately, it's been 70's and low humidity so the weather has been absolutely perfect. However, I am afraid that if it's this warm in March then we might just die of heat strokes in August. If you haven't suffered through the staggering humidity of a Southern August then you just don't know what you're missing :)
5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
Couples. Maybe this is because I don't have kids right now. Skye likes to vacation in groups with friends so we have never even been on a real vacation alone. I can't wait for our Honeymoon!

Happy Friday loves!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pretty Blogger Swap

I was so excited to participate in my FIRST blog swap with Brie & Angie for Pretty Blogger Swap! I met these lovely ladies through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog SITSGirls Challenge. I was hooked up with Lauren from Our Hiding Place for the swap. I was already a fan of Lauren's before we were paired together, so that made me really excited to get to know her better! If you are into antiques, renovations, and cute pups then you need to check out Lauren's blog!

The rules were simple- $30 budget and keep the gifts creatively within 5 categories: accessory, food item, paper/office item, beauty item and something that represents you're hometown.
Take a look at my awesome goodies!

This neat starfish represents where Lauren is from - Branford, Connecticut - near the shore.

My beauty item Zoya nail lacquer in Kelly - I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a girly girl so this was an awesome choice!
She said I can wear this to show off my beautiful new engagement ring :) What a sweetheart!

PEZ - also represents where Lauren is from because that's where they make Pez! YUM!

My food items - Delicious flower cookie and doggy treats from Sugar Bakery in CT, which was featured on Cupcake Wars on Food Network. She totally won me over (as if I didn't love her already) by sending a gift for Tilly.

Accessory item - very spring appropriate ribbon earrings from Etsy
I can't wait to wear them!

My paper item - Fun notecards - Little did Lauren know that I am obsessed with these Keep Calm sayings. I have Keep Calm & Sparkle On on the background on my computer at work.

I have a thing for handwritten notes so I loved this sweet note too!

The total package! I racked up!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Our Love Story- Part 3

WAIT! Did you read Part 1 & Part 2?
You better so you get the full story!

So recap from Parts 1&2 of Our Love Story – girl meets boy, girl really likes boy and the feeling is mutual, girl reluctantly decides maybe the timing isn’t right and doesn’t see boy for 10 months, girl reunites with boy a year after their first meeting and feelings still exist. No moves are made after reunion. Girl is confused!
After the night of the Christmas party when I saw Skye again, I sat in my room and just felt puzzled by our situation. I knew I liked him and it really seemed like he liked me – at times even more than I liked him. Maybe I'm not accurately portraying the situation here, and I hate to brag, but the boy was really into me! Obviously the Christmas party was not the right time or place to have an in-depth conversation about our relationship. During my over analyzing, out of no where, my phone goes off with a text message. (It was like a movie, I swear!) It was him and he said something along the lines of “it was really good to see you tonight.”  After much thought, probably too much thought, I decided to say the hell with all my worries. Who cares if he was my boss’s son? Who cares that he was younger than me? If I like this boy this much, then I have to allow it to play out. I didn't feel like I would be able to forgive myself if I didn't give it another try. And that’s exactly what I did. I sent him a text back and we never stopped talking. We became as inseparable as you can be living 45 minutes away from each other. We would only see each other twice a week but those days were filled with the exhilaration that a new romance brings. You all know what I mean by that, all the butterflies and sweet kisses and everything that comes with falling in love.
Fast Forward 6 months from December -
I left to go on a cruise in June. I was gone for 1 week. I distinctly remember one phone conversation we had while I was gone. He said he’d bought me a present, and he wanted to show me how much I meant to him. I was excited, but didn’t give it much thought.
About a month after I was home from the cruise, he had arranged a special date for us. This was nothing unusual at this point in our relationship. He liked to spoil me on the regular. We decided to meet at the restaurant, since we still lived 45 minutes away from each other. He picked the same Italian restaurant we originally met at a year and a half ago. I walked in and was led to a table adorned with 2 dozen roses. Upon further inspection, I realized there was a little heart shaped ceramic box sitting within the flowers. Slowly, I began to freak out. I thought that Skye had lost his mind and he was going to propose to me or something! I mean I probably loved him at this point, but neither of us were even 21 so there was no way I was going to get married. I was right on one count – there was a beautiful 3 stone diamond ring hidden in the box, but I was not getting proposed to. Basically, this was a promise ring. A gorgeous reminder that I could wear to know I was truly loved.

gorgeous little box my promise ring was in

The rest is history! I still have the promise ring, and I wear it everyday on my ring finger. It’s often mistaken for an engagement ring and rightfully so. Promise ring might sound dinky to you, maybe it makes you think of a no sex before marriage ring. To me, it was more like a pre-engagement ring. That that was the purpose it served for about 7 years.

We’ve survived a lot in the past 8 years of knowing each other – weddings, funerals, 3 dogs, 2 homes, 3 cars, an apartment fire, a shooting, the death of a fur baby, new jobs – and so many other good times. I can honestly say that he’s my better half. We’ve managed to beat the “7 year itch”, but I still get lots of jokes about common law marriage. J

This 3 Part Series has been a really fun walk down memory lane to remember how it all got started. It’s always good to remember where you came from. I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated version of Our Love Story! UPDATE: As you all know, we are recently engaged so that only means one thing UP NEXT....THE PROPOSAL STORY!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Listable Life - 5 Celebrities You'd Like to Have Dinner With

Okay so update - coming TOMORROW is Part 3 of Our Love Story. Part 3 will not include the proposal story, because I just didn't want to make it too long. So now you have TWO more parts to look forward to! I've been so busy lately with getting ideas together for my wedding...still feels weird to say that...that I've been a bad little blogger. I can't wait to share my ideas with you though! We are working on finalizing our date now - which makes it REAL! :)

I linked up with MTDL for Listable Life a couple weeks ago and I reallllly loved the response I got. Her readers - which are now some of my readers :) - were fabulous!

5 Celebrities You'd Like to Have Dinner With
I am very obsessed with pop culture and celebrities. I'm not sure why this appeals to me, but it always has. I like reading the gossip magazines and watching E! News. I love seeing what they wear and who they date. It just fascinates me. It was actually quite hard to narrow down my list of 5 celebrities I'd like to sit down and have a dinner conversation with. There are SO many to choose from! Here's the 5 I came up with, in no particular order.

1. Emma Stone
She is just so funny! I love funny people and I like to surround myself with them. Plus, she's a doll! She proved her acting chops in the huge hit The Help, not to mention all her funny roles like Easy A & the classic Superbad. I think she would be easy to talk to, interesting & of course have you laughing your ass off.

2. Mark Wahlberg
I have a massive crush on him. You gotta love his underwear modeling days - or at least I sure do! He just oozes sex appeal, but in a very unintentional way. I love how he has a dash of bad boy, and he has a powerful storyline that he's been able to overcome. He's married with 4 kids and he seems like a real dedicated family man. I love his movies - again, with the bad ass roles. I just feel like he could kick someones ass for me and make me melt. Love the accent too!

I had to show you this to remind you of the underwear modeling days...

3.Miranda Lambert
She's a good ole country girl so you know I'm attracted to that. Girls from TX and girls from TN have a lot in common, whether we like to admit or not sometimes. She seems so genuine and sweet, just makes you want to be her best friend! Plus, I've always been a fan of her music. One of my favorite things about Miranda is her positive role model status. Her weight fluctuates, just like a real woman and she has no problems discussing that fact. She's not a rail thin girl, and she's gorgeous! Maybe I could get her to sing to me over dinner!

4. Ed Helms
Again, with the sense of humor. Andy Bernard from The Office is about as funny as it gets to me. Plus, I want to hear all about his Hangover stories! Did you know that he's really missing that tooth that is missing in the Hangover movie?? Yep, it's true! It actually took me a while to make the connection that Stu from the Hangover was Andy from The Office...I'm slow..but when I did finally realize it the deal was sealed for me. I love his stupid jokes and I always laugh. He is the quintessential quirky character, and I could just eat it up.

5. Justin Timberlake
I have been a huge fan of JT since I was maybe 12 years old back in the NSYNC days. Ahhhh, memories. Now, he's got his whole acting deal going on and he's all engaged and stuff. Justin is a Memphis boy, so that's a huge plus for me. (Although, Memphis is completely different from East TN, I will still consider him a TN boy). I think he's insanely handsome, seems like he's got a great personality, he can sing & dance, he's a decent actor, and he has a clothing line. Is there anything he can't do?? I saw him in concert several years ago and it was still one of the best concerts I've ever been to. He's just a great entertainer overall. I would gladly let him entertain me at dinner.

Were you surprised by my list?? I didn't think you would be! I tried to mix it up a little, but let's face it they are all beautiful people.

Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Question Friday/Fur Baby Friday!

Well I must say that Friday is my favorite day of the work week. Obviously because it's the last working day of the week! AND because I so look forward to Fur Baby Friday! Come link up with us and show off your furry faces.

I have a special picture to share with you this week of Tilly! It's from last Saturday when I took her to her very first Mardi Growl. It's an annual parade/festival so we will definitely be hitting it up again next year. She had a complete blast! Mardi Growl is hosted by Young Williams, which is my local animal shelter. They had an official photographer taking pictures for the official event photo album. Well guess what? My pretty girl made the official album! Yep, that's right she's a star! :) If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you might have already seen this, but I can't help it - I'm a proud fur mama! That thing she's licking that looks like a bottle is a new mess free treat they were testing. It's called Lickey Stix and it's a liquid that tastes like a chicken flavored dog treat with a roller ball they lick. Tilly went nuts over it.

Link to the entire album if you want to check out all the dogs dressed up!
In other business...

1. Are you looking forward to the time change this weekend?
YES, Yes & yes! I love when it's lighter when I wake up and stays lighter longer. I feel more energized to get things done after work during spring forward time. Plus, the spring time in East TN is just beautiful with all the dogwoods and other blooms.
2. Are you getting the new iPad/would you want a iPad?
I am not getting one. I would not be opposed to buying one, but I would rather have a MacBook instead.
3. If money was not a problem, what is the one thing you would splurge on?
A lake house! I would probably use that more than my regular house.
4. How did you and the Mr. (or Mrs.) meet?
Funny you should ask! I've been writing a 3 part series here on the blog about Our Love Story.
Check out Part 1 & Part 2 if you are interested in teh full story. Part 3 is coming next week!
5. Summer is right around the corner. Bikini or one-piece?
I'm a bikini girl. I like being tan and with a one piece or a tankini you have a white belly! Speaking of bikinis I need to hit the gym hard tonight!

This is reallllllly making me want summer to be now! Happy Friday lovelies!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Things to Love - Pinterest Wedding Ideas Edition


I am linking up with Cami for Thankful Thursday/Thursday Things to Love - Pinterest Wedding Ideas edition.

I am so beyond thankful for all the sweet, beautiful, funny and thoughtful comments that everyone has offered me on my recent engagement. I still can't believe I'm so lucky to have my blog friends, Twitter friends and all the people in who are excited for us who know us in real life. I actually got about 100 comments and 215 "likes" on my Facebook post with my ring! It blew my mind. Everyone seems genuinely happy for us, and it makes my heart melt! COMING VERY SOON is the proposal story so stay tuned :)

Okay here are some ideas that I've been obsessing over on Pinterest regarding wedding ideas... Enjoy this peek into my idea filled wedding brain!

via - The lake is very special to us, and we spend a lot of time there - I love this for engagement pictures!

Via - This is amazing, but I would have NO idea how to make it


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Master Bathroom Re-Design - "BEFORE"

Okay so I've been talking all about re-doing our master bathroom ever since we moved in our house - almost 4 years ago. I explained all my woes about the bathroom to you guys here. You felt my pain right? I'm been promising you this post for weeks so, here it is...don't judge me based on my current ugly bathroom!

So I have years worth of built up ideas to relay into this project. Problem is, I want it to be livable, lovable and perfect for our needs and tastes. 4 years worth of ideas are too many for me to  narrow down right now. I STILL CAN'T DECIDE ON A DAMN PAINT COLOR!! That's really the last piece of the puzzle for me.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you the "before" pictures. This is current state our bathroom is in. Maybe this will spell it out for you exactly why I hate it. I almost cringe to put this on display to the whole Internet, but I take solace in the fact that VERY SOON it will become my masterpiece.
This is the view from our main living room area. The toilet is located to the right, and also that doorway to the right that you can barely see in the pic leads into our closet, shower area, an additional sink and also into the master bedroom. It's the "man" side of our bathroom right now. As well as the area guests use to potty when we entertain.

GAG ME! This house was my mamaw's before we moved in. Like I said before, the bathroom was pretty much the only room that didn't get any updates before we moved in. Including, we kept her shower curtain and hideous border.

This is the "woman" side of the bathroom AKA my vanity. That lovely cut out in the wall on the left, is from a plumbing leak we had about a year ago that has yet to be fixed. We keep saying we will fix it when we update the bathroom...
I am thinking of keeping both vanities but painting them both black (possibly black, depends on the color choice for the walls).

Light fixtures are the same on both vanities. They aren't the worst, but not very pretty either.

Another view from the main living room/hallway area. Gives you a better idea about the weird layout of this bathroom. To the right is the toilet, thru the doorway to the far left is our master closet and shower. Thru the doorway to the far right leads into our master bedroom.

UGLY, HATEFUL, HORRIBLE, SINFUL fake floor tiles that we are working with. The ones that are liable to stick to your bare feet at any given time. Granted the little flowers on there do match the current border, but I hate this more than anything else in the house.

View thru the bedroom looking into the closet. Displaying the lovely old lady looking shower curtain and matching border. To the right is my sink area, and to the left is the doorway that leads into the toilet/his sink area.