Style Shoot Excitment

I am so freaking excited.

Okay, let me rewind. Our wedding was incredibly stressful, which is probably why we were so busy running around that we literally did not take any bride/groom pictures! So so sad right? I didn’t want Michael to see my dress until I was walking down the aisle, so we didn’t do a reveal- mistake! We seriously only have pictures of the two of us either with the whole bridal party or iPhone snapshots. When we got engaged I had bought these three giant frames to hang pictures of the wedding in, I even had Michael mount them on the wall beforehand. Well we don’t have pictures to put in them! The empty frames were so sad to look at that I made Michael hide them in the attic! However, last week we got some amazing news!!

One of our dear friends, Brittany, is the owner/founder of a wedding & event planning company, Inspired Help. It is the coolest business. She helps create and direct breathtaking weddings, gorgeous bridal showers, and other fun events. She also has a super cute stationary store. We actually used Inspired Help to make our wedding invitation, literally the coolest things ever! (See pictures below.) Anyways, she had the most epic surprise ever for us! She reached out to her community of wedding entrepreneurs and asked if anyone would be willing to donate some time to put together a little style shoot for me and Michael. The best part? Several people responded! She is piecing together this whole wedding shoot so me and Michael can have pictures in my wedding dress and his suit. I am so freaking excited.

It will be later this month, so I am frantically trying to lose the ten pounds I have gained since the wedding. (Doesn’t seem like a lot right? Wrong. Not when your dress was as form fitting as mine. It literally won’t zip all the way.) But besides that, this is going to be so exciting. Honestly, I have a feeling these pictures are going to be even more stunning than the wedding ones would have been. It is going to be such a light, carefree day. I can’t wait to write about all of the super cool local business owners/photographers that I meet!

I am so blessed to have such a talented, giving friend. These photos will be so cherished.  Three cheers for the talented Mrs. B. Smith!! Make sure you check out her website & social media sites. You will love having someone so dedicated, creative, and dependable ensuring that your day is perfect!

Instagram: @inspired_help

Blog: http://inspired-help.com/blog/

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photo credit: K Schulz Photography

Top Knot, Top Notch

The top knot…. the hair trend that is taking over all genres of hair. The hipster in flannel, the sorority sister in her Lilly Pulitzer dress, the man with luscious hair and a beard, or basically anyone else with enough hair to wrap an elastic band around! I’ll admit, at first I was incredibly skeptical. I mean, it was a little weird! However, one morning I was in a rush and I needed my hair out of my face. So, I decided to try a top knot!
I started with a small one further back on my head, and I fell in love! It is so nice to have the hair out of my face and it was a fun variation from just clipping/pinning it back! Not to mention the fact that I love how easy it is to do! At this point, I can literally do it with no mirror, no brush, nothing. (That said, I do always keep a bobby pin or two on me to make sure that it all looks good! I hate it when It doesn’t sit close enough to my head and sort of bounces around).
Last weekend we went downtown to have dinner at one of my favorite places on third, Bakersfield. The  tacos are a great meal at a great price. I always get chicken, but Michael is way more adventurous. He got fish and pork belly this time. There are all sorts of fresh ingredients, salsas, and cheeses depending on what you order. And the tacos are only $4.00. We always love to go. I knew I was going to be shoveling their magical queso down so I wanted my hair out of my face.  The obvious answer: a top knot!
Anyways, so as of last month, I am officially a wholehearted supporter of the top knot. So go grab a pack of small elastic bands (literally, like $2.00 a pack at Walgreens) and knot away my friends!!
I hope you enjoy these pictures of our little night downtown!
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3o Minute Dinner for Two!

Rotini Alfredo. Can anything be better!? Yes, Lemon Rotini Alfredo that only takes 3o minutes to make! This is probably not healthy… okay it’s not really at all. But it is delicious! I love it when I am craving comfort food, but don’t have a lot of time to make something.

Ingredients:

  • Kroger’s Alfredo Sauce Mix
  • Rotini Mixed Pasta (Whole Foods)
  • 2% Milk
  • Half & Half
  • One Lemon
  • Broccoli

First, I begin by boiling water. While the water is boiling for the noodles I start on the broccoli. I love to steam it because it tastes great and is low maintenance. When the water is ready I put the noodles in.  That’s when I start on the sauce. Now, I know that a sauce packet is cheating, but honestly it makes it so easy, I almost prefer this than from scratch! The sauce instructions call for the Alfredo packet, 2 tbsp butter, 1 cup milk, 1/2 water.  I like to do 1/2 a cup of half and half and then 1/2 a cup milk instead of just milk, it makes it so much more creamy!! I also squeeze half a lemon into the sauce when it is almost finished, as well as a dash of salt. It makes all the difference. The instructions call to melt the butter first, then to whisk it all together. I let it all come to a slight boil, but then turn it way down. I let it sit on the stovetop on low, stirring it every other minute or so.  Generally, the noodles finish right as the sauce has thickened up! I throw it all on the table and dinner is served in less than thirty minutes!

It is really easy, inexpensive, and delicious. What more could you ask for? I’m curious if you have any quick and easy dinners to try, please share them if you do!

Happy cooking!!!

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Yeti Tundra 35

When Michael told me that he wanted a Yeti cooler, my first thought was “Why?” It seemed silly to spend so much money on a cooler. I didn’t think much about it until recently when I wanted to get him something special for our one year wedding anniversary.
I was going to surprise him, but I didn’t really know anything about the coolers, so I ended up telling him my idea and letting him pick one out himself. We made a date out of it and went down to Bink’s Outfitters in the Greenhills Mall area.

We decided on getting the Yeti Tundra 35 in white and Michael ADORES it. I have to admit, I am pretty fond of it too. (It has a handy little shelf insert included, and you can also opt to get extra shelves and a divider that can function as a cutting board). Michael has decided he wants to add a sticker to the cooler for any trips we go on. We decided to start it off with a Bink’s sticker to commemorate buying it.

Michael and I used it for the first time yesterday, and can i say- wow! The Yeti literally keeps everything super cold. I am so impressed. It is a little heavy, so I would’t want to carry it for very long by myself, but then again I do have the muscles of a ten year old little boy. Other than that, I love everything about it. It seals well and has a really easy to use locking mechanism. It also holds as many Popsicles as I want to bring. Not to mention, I love how clean it looks in white. (Though I am curious how long that white will be that white). Best of all, it makes Michael crazy happy to use it. That’s worth it all to me!

Overall, what a great purchase! It is perfect for our upcoming beach trip! I am so excited. We will definitely keep you updated on how it holds up.

Enjoy these pictures of our little outing with the pups- Jade!(:

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// Button Down: J.Crew // Shorts: Levi // Shoes: Sperry  // Watch: Fossil // Dog Collar: Baxter Bailey and Company

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The Road to Utah!

Okay, this is a little late. However, I couldn’t miss a chance to mention my birth place of Colorado!! Aka: Days two and three of my epic road trip to drive my brother to Utah. Yes thats right- 1,689 miles of road in my brother’s Honda Accord. Honestly I was a little nervous, but it ended up being crazy fun. Here is the breakdown:

Day One: Nashville, Tn – Kansas City, Mo (574 miles)

Day Two: Kansas City, Mo – Louisville, Co (613 miles)

Day Three: Family Time!! (Louisville/Boulder)

Day Four: Louisville, Co – Provo, Ut (496 miles)

Day Five: Family Time (Provo/Pleasant Grove)

Day Six: Family Time (Pleasant Grove) & Fly Home in PM

Spending time with my brother was definitely the best. I can’t imagine not getting see him everyday (so far it sucks). The second best part of the trip was seeing some of my family/basically family in Colorado & Utah! And of  course, Beau Jo’s Pizza. The worlds MOST AMAZING mountain pies, only found in Colorado. You don’t understand comfort food until you have had their creamy garlic sauce with grilled chicken on a deep dish, homemade whole wheat crust. The coolest part? Dessert is your delicious crust with honey. Seriously so fabulous. Another highlight of sunny Colorado, on day three we got to do an epic hike with Gia in Chautauqua Park. It was so hard! My lungs have gone soft, I felt like I could barely breath in that altitude. However, when we got to the top of Royal Arch Trail I felt like a total winner!

There were so many other great things like playing barbies with my precious cousin Sabrina (she owns my heart btw), going to the Puppy Barn, and getting frozen yogurt with my brother, his new roommates, and the cousins. However, I’ll just leave it at this- I left missing the West a little more than before. I hope you fall in love with the mountains as you look at these totally gorgeous photos!!

** Generally I like my photos to look uniform, but the landscaping between Boulder and Provo is so diverse it’s not possible! Which is actually totally cool! **

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“Hand me a Q… I mean tee!”

Well, it’s official.  I’m going to be a golfer.
Michael and I were leaving downtown Nashville this last Saturday evening and we were so busy talking we totally forgot to get on the interstate.  We ended up a little bit lost.  Eventually we came across a gorgeous golf course! This prompted a conversation that ended with Michael picking up his clubs from storage and taking me to the driving range for my first  attempt at using a golf club! We paid for about 220 golf balls to split between the two of us.  I also got to pick out the cutest tees!! (Mixed Berry by Maxfli) I’ll admit, I wasn’t great.  However it was so much fun I am definitely hooked!
My biggest issue was that when I swing forward I get a little too excited and I magically miss the ball.  Well, more precisely I get excited and lean a little forward, sending my putter two cm off target. Luckily the sweetest old man decided to come move closer to where we were set up.  He reminded me a lot of my Grandpa Doug, who passed last February.  My Grandpa Doug was an avid golfer and he would have loved to teach me his favorite sport! I could tell that the older man was super excited to be able to pass along wisdom.  He was the sweetest and gave me a bunch of great tips for my form and timing! It actually helped a lot. He even gave me a pile of balls when I ran out saying, “I really want you to get this.” He was very invested and that made me feel really good. He was funny and I was happy to let him teach me. The man also made me promise to take some lessons so that I will develop good muscle memory!
Michael also had a blast. It was so fun to find something outdoors we both enjoyed that is new (well, to me). We already have plans for next weekend and I am pretty excited about it. I need a lot of practice before we play with one of our favorite married couples.
Do you have any pro golfing tips for me?
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// Yoga Pants & Pullover: Victoria Secret // Shoes: Nike
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// Mixed Berry by Maxfli –  200 count
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“I Think I Can Do It!!”

Thursday I got to take one of my favorite little kids from Michael and I’s Sunday school class out for an afternoon! He is literally one of the best things about living here! I picked Q up and we decided to make a stop at the store and buy picnic supplies. It was so fun pushing him around. He insisted on keeping every single thing shoved up in his front buggy seat. It was precious. Our final picnic menu included the following:

  • A carton of strawberries
  • One orange (specifically picked out by Q)
  • A pizza lunchable
  • Simply lemonade with blueberry
  • One Ninja Turtle blue plastic cup
  • Two cans of silly string

The pizza lunchable, as I later found out, was actually not for eating, but for making sauce sandwiches. Those sandwiches were then used to smear sauce everywhere! haha. Always a fun day with that goose.

I took Q down to Two Rivers Park. I had never been, but I am so glad that we tried it! There was no litter, had two separate playgrounds, and wasn’t crowded. It also had decently clean bathrooms and beautiful green hills surrounding it. After we finished our rocking picnic under a gorgeous tree, we played in the playground a little farther back into the park. We started with a silly string war. Then moved on to the swings. It was a lot of fun!

At one point Q decided to climb up the big covered slide. He was using all the muscles in both his arms and legs to brace himself and climb upwards. On his first attempt, Q literally slipped, fell on his back, and slide down into my arms! We made eye contact and I held my breath, waiting to see if the tears were coming. His eyes got wide as he stared at me, but I was relieved when he burst out into hysterical laughter!

Q jumped up and started at it again! He kept tumbling down, but his resolve never weakened. At one point I could hear him panting, repeating the phrase, “I think I can do it. I think I can do it!!!” The mommy in me was beaming in pride. I hope he never looses his resolve to accomplish his goals. I think it’s important to learn from the small things in life. I think today I was shown a little lesson in working hard and not giving up. I hope you are as inspired as I am!

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// Key Chain: Kate Spade

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