May 29, 2014

Talking About my Wedding

I always find it tricky to know what to say about my wedding on this blog.  To know how to share that bit of my life with readers without it turning into a pity party or a sob fest.

My mom doesn't want me to talk about it. She thought that enough of the spotlight was already taken off me. 
Sorry mom, I don't feel at all that way.

There wasn't a lot that was fair to my mom either.
I don't like that.
My dad and Kevin were so good to me on my wedding day.
I will never forget that day. (I know every girl says that, but I feel that to be true)

I didn't cry at my wedding.
I didn't worry at my wedding.
I knew everything would be okay.

I did get stressed setting up for the wedding. People thought I was crazy, but I knew if my mom was there she would have understood. My mom and I knew what the plans were, we did it all ourselves.

I have a special day that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

End the most cryptic post in the history of blog posts.


May 28, 2014

Wedding Makeup

On May 26, 2011, I reached a major life milestone and had a beauty breakthrough. First and foremost, I married the man of my dreams—and learned a lot about makeup. I had my sister do my makeup. Now I had thought that I wanted airbrushed makeup, but I was talked out of that seeing how bad it could be for your face and seeing that you can recreate a flawless look.

Locking eyes: So I am not the kind of person that had a specific idea of what kind of look I wanted for my eyes. I just know that I wanted them to look their best. All eyes are different. With my hazel eyes, my sister used a combo of grays and purples to bring them out and played up my long black lashes and brought on the drama with the black eyeliner. Pictures and different types of lighting can flush your makeup out. Ain't no one going to be flushed out! Bring on more makeup!

Playing Up Lips’ Natural ColorNow I love the look of playing up some lips, but I wanted to look natural, beautiful, and with all of the signs of affection ahead—locking lips with the hunky new husband, air kisses with friends—I didn't want a trail of fuchsia lipstick stains. Tess made my lips natural with a touch of light pink. Who knew revving up my natural hue would be just as appealing?
The Art of Highlighting: I am not a blush wearer...ever. Having rosacea makes blush something I feel like I do not need.  I still don't understand the word highlighting, but I know Tess did it! Under I used a NARS foundation and packed powder that kept me covered and flawless throughout the day.

The other suspects: My shallac manicure saved my life. I never had to worry about my nails through the whole process and they looked beautiful.  Oh and say yes to the spray tan. Gotta keep this white girl even! As for the hair, I am so glad I put it up and secured it good, because I ended up having plenty of wind! And getting this all done by other people saved me the worry!!
I still consider myself beauty challenged for sure, but I did feel beautiful this day! Every girl deserves to feel beautiful!

May 27, 2014

Wedding Day: First Look

I seriously think that I am the worst blogger in regards to recapping my wedding...but they bring up lots of memories of love, laughter, and celebration. So I love continuing! And really, why not continue only two years later?!? I digress...one of the most important moments of our special day was our first look.

Our wedding didn't involve too many quiet moments. Looking back I realize how truly significant our first look was. It turned out to be one of the most magical moments of our lives. As brides, we spend so much time planning our weddings. It is very easy for us to picture our wedding day and generally know what to expect. But I truly would have never anticipated the look on Kevin's face when he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time. 

If you are planning your wedding day, I highly encourage a first look. You spend the day enjoying time with your friends and family that I think despite being a very traditional girl, it is good to separate yourselves a bit. There is an energy that is so short but significant when you do.

The way he looks at you will plaster the silliest smile on your face. You will be bursting with love and passion for the person you are about to marry. It is exciting and calming at the same time. This will give you perspective.

It is truly magical.

.








What is everyone else's thoughts on a first look?

May 26, 2014

Coming on TWO

Today, my husband and I will celebrate our 2nd anniversary.
We are 24 and have been married for two years. So far we have been together for nine years and have known each other for eleven years.

Some people have scoffed that the only guy I have ever been with has been my husband. Some people wonder whether I can truly be an independent women.

Forgive my language but I think those people are FULL OF SHIT.
Do we really intend to find the one we love when we do? 

I met the man who would become my husband in high school. He sat across from me in English. He was tall with a great smile. I could tell even behind the braces! 14-year old me wouldn't have believed it if you’d told her she’d end up marrying that boy. But after a few years I couldn't imagine living without him. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I wouldn’t trade getting married at 22 for anything. We have grown up together, and I love that. Other people have different stories (and oh, how I’d love to hear them!), but today I’m remembering my own.
Today, I’m grateful for my man–and the path that’s brought us to our 2nd wedding anniversary.

Fair warning, this whole week I am going to go down memory lane with my wedding. :-)

May 23, 2014

Date Night Style

So there was this one Saturday where I wore all black. Very edgy for the fashion challenged me.
I thought I looked very good and very slim.
There were layers.
It was comfortable.
All the makings of a very good outfit. 
This post would probably be better if I had a picture of me in the aforementioned black outfit.

Kevin said he liked this outfit.
My take on fashion? I don't dress for women. I dress for Kevin. He is the one who has to look at me and he is the one I want to impress.

Anyway, it was a Saturday and usually your plans for Saturday night, don't happen until Saturday night. 
We decided to go out to a party some friends were throwing. 
As I touched up my makeup and Kevin changed, he asked: are you going to wear that?

Now let me first say this. Kevin is not super involved in my fashion choices. He will tell me if he likes or dislikes something, but that is about it.
I said yeah I was planning on it...why?
"Oh no reason."

Haha both men and women speak that language.
There is a reason.
So I decided to change into something. I still wanted to be comfortable. I had eaten a lot as I do 7 days out of the week. Therefore I knew that something tight was out of the question.

I went with this dress:
Yes, slightly tight, but a stretchy and forgiving fabric.
Kevin LOVED it.

Here is my thinking (in very general terms):

one
Guys like tight and therefore sexy. But you have to do sexy right. Sexy and slutty are two different things. The dress dipped down just enough and hit right above the knee. Sexy means there is something left for the imagination.

two
I also changed my hair ever so slightly before this party. All day it was down. I simply threw it in a clip before we left. Kevin had seen me in that outfit all day. Guys have short attention spans. We have to change it up for them very frequently.

three
Guys prefer simple. Stick to what they know. Trends can be too much for some of them.

All you fashion ladies out there...what is your take on my ramblings?

May 21, 2014

My Sister is Graduating High School

Dear Ellie on Your Graduation Day,

Today, you graduate high school.

Something many have done before you, and many will do after, though that doesn't make it any less exciting!

This is the ending of the only life you've ever known - a life filled with parents helping to make sure you get fed, get to school on time, and the beginning of  a life where you are in control of every little detail of your daily existence from the food you put in your mouth to the people you choose to keep company with.

I hope you make it to class on time!

I can't even believe we're here watching you walk in a cap and gown.
I remember very distinctly driving you to your last day of 5th grade knowing that it was the last time I would drive you or anyone to our Elementary School.
I remember when we were babies.
I would hold you and pretend you were my little baby.
Do you remember that guy on the plane who asked if I was your mom? On the way back from Ohio? haha!

But I am not your Mother,
I am your sister and I take great pride in that role.
I have loved seeing you get ready for dances, dates and big events.
Listening to you talk about boys,
and vent about school and snotty girls.
It has been a joy watching you grow up. (I have to throw in some corn El!)

I remember spending hours wondering what you would be like when you grew up.
Who would you look like?
What kinds of interests would you have?
What would your career be? (Yay for nursing! Don't forget to come to me for help there!!)
I still do wonder theses things.

You are more beautiful than I ever could have imagined,

I guess with my almost seven year lead in life, I should have some kind of advice for you?

Don't worry if you don't feel like a grown up yet.
I still don't.
Sure, I pay some bills, and oh yeah I got married, but I'm still waiting for the day when I feel like an adult.
Despite you calling me OLD ;-)
You'll get there.

Never lose touch with your friends.
Especially your best friend.....ME! ;-)
Hold on to them.They are a piece of you.
There might be times when the only thing you have in common is your shared history.
But that is enough.
Because the people who saw you through school, who allowed you to grow up without letting you grow apart, are the people you want surrounding you.

Love your family.
Especially your eldest sister...ME! ;-)
We are the ones that are always there no matter what.
If you don't already know it, there will come a day that you realize how insanely lucky you are to have a family that's not absent, insane, or (at least not completely) dysfunctional.
Things are not always perfect, but you have a family that loves you and supports you in whatever you choose to do.

Keep exercising in college. That Freshman 15 is one cruel Bitch.
Do not skip your classes (too many times).
Find a job that fits in with your schedule (I recommend being a Lifeguard!!)
Don't get bitter - just get better.

Above all else, know that I will always be there for you.
It doesn't matter where you go, what you do, who you marry, what you believe in, I will always be here, ready to hold you like I did when you were babies.

Love Your Big Sister,
Lauren

May 20, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts

I tried this recipe. Was not a fan. Neither was the husband.

I continue to love looking at odd maps randomly floating around the internet. I wrote about it here. I found these two new ones recently I liked:




Celebrated Mother's Day doing what my mother taught me best....cleaning a house!

I think Cody Latimer was a smart choice. Go Broncos!

Celebrated Nurse's Week by working with my awesome co-workers. It is a job that will never be easy but I love it!

Reading this book and was hooked! Love when I find a good one!

My little baby sister and her tennis team took state! Way to end your senior year Ellie Belly!

I am continuing to try and exercise regularly. Let's get me to the point that I do not dread running!
Who am I kidding...I always dread it...

I can't believe May is already over halfway through. I am not yet ready for these triple digits!!!
I went on a lake this weekend with some friends! Totally the escape I needed! Of course we stopped at a winery on the way back.... #duh #pictureoverload

Hope everyone has a good Tuesday!

May 19, 2014

How to Love Yourself

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Now here we are faced with another Monday. I was thinking Sunday night how I dislike Mondays. Then I thought (and see trouble happens when I actually start thinking) Monday is just a day. What can I change to make Monday better.

The answer is me. 
We all could learn to love ourselves a little more.

If there is one thing I have learned in this lifetime, it is that some of the strongest, most beautiful, smart people are women. Let's love ourselves ladies!

STOP ALL CRITICISM.  Criticism never changes a thing. Accept yourself as you are. Everyone changes and when you criticize yourself, that insinuates your changes are negative. Approve of yourself  and your changes will be positive.

BE GENTLE, KIND, AND PATIENT.  Exactly what that says. Period.

BE KIND TO YOUR MIND.  Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Do not hate yourself for having thoughts, but gently change your thoughts.

PRAISE YOURSELF.  Praise builds you up. Tell yourself how well you are doing with even the little things.

SUPPORT YOURSELF.  Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It shows strength to ask for help.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality. Learn about exercise. What kind do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the person you are.

LOOK AT YOURSELF.  Forgive your self, say I love you, express a growing sense of love for not only yourself, but do this once for your parents too.

DO IT NOW.  Don't wait until you get well, lose the weight, get the new job, the new relationship, etc...do the best you can and do it now.

Let's go out there and have an excellent Monday!

May 13, 2014

Best Stuffed Peppers

These are seriously the best stuffed peppers ever. 
I think they rock anyway. 

Especially because it makes it easy for me to make two different types... One with and one without rice. 
Yep not a fan of rice over here!

I also am not a fan of red sauce and this is my recipe that doesn't have it swimming in it!

Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
3 large peppers
1 clove of garlic
Dash of onion powder
1/2 cup of cooked rice
1 can of Rotel
Shredded cheese
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Olive Oil

Directions:
In a large skillet brown your ground beef with garlic and onion in oil.
Add the parsley and rice.
Stir in the rotel (I drain it) and the some shredded cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cut off the tops of your peppers and trim the bottom so they sit flat in your dish.
Chop the bottoms/tops scrapped peppers and add to the filling.
Place peppers in the baking dish and stuff it until full.
Drizzle the peppers with olive oil.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and take off the foil. Put shredded cheese to the top of the peppers, bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.  

Trust me, just do it and thank me below with comments!
;-)

May 8, 2014

State Stats

I found the most amazing article teaching about the US! Seriously this article is great!

Some of my favorite maps?
How does Google describe your state?

Yes, Arizona is hot, New Mexico is poor, and Google is correct!
Bahahaha


I can tell you why everyone in Arizona wants to move...it's because it is so damn hot! I mean come on....triple digits already on May 3rd?!?
How much do the people living in your state hate it?

New Mexico you could have had Microsoft. Now all you have is some cigs. Way. To. Go.
What company is your state known for?


OH and seriously how does this make the list?!?!
Idaho...you are hardcore!
And, of course, how afraid of wild gorillas is your state?

How did your state do? Check out some of the other maps!


May 7, 2014

Love and Skiing

Kevin and I love to ski! He taught me in senior year in high school and since we have had skiing, something we do together. We absolutely adore the mountains and skiing down those gorgeous, snowy, sometimes icy mountains. For him, it is as fast as he possibly can. 

We went on three ski trips this season, which was more than I thought we would be due to my stressful work situation.

And now summer is upon me. Curses. So now all I can do now is sit inside and reminisce and ignore my rising A/C bill....

TRIP ONE
WINTER PARK, COLORADO
No parking, go ride | snowboard, ski, mountains, inspiration, no cars go, powder = zen | www.boardtrader.com
One thing that stress at work had done for me in hindsight, was make me less worried about things. Kinda like a more laid back, stress about what really needs to be stressed about attitude. That was super helpful for me this trip. We went with about 25 people. Not all of us knew each other, but most were connected through Kevin's work. Read more about that one here.

TRIP TWO
PARK CITY, UTAH
❄Ski Life, Snowboard Life, the only life for us!  www.boardtrader.com
Kevin's aunt and uncle live in SLC and I have always wanted to visit. SLC and Utah did not disappoint! So pretty! I also with the help of his uncle bought my first pair of skis and I LOVE them! 






TRIP THREE
VAIL, COLORADO
Vail - Trail Map.  I think I have been on every chairlift at least once and chairs 4 and 11:  3,372 times each.
This has kinda been an annual trip we take. Kevin's grandparents have a timeshare and I love skiing Vail and Beaver Creek. The mountains are just fantastic and it is a wonderful tradition Kevin and I share. Plus, I love watching rich people! Please tell me I am not the only one?!? 


Ugh I am so not ready for summer. I know all you people who have been dealing with cold are like what?! But listen. I have heard you complain all winter and now it is my turn. We already hit triple digits...I am officially going to melt!


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