Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop #85 !!

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

What a day to celebrate! This is the 85th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'

& Co-Hosts
Amy at Set Free
Rachel at Life as Rachel
Gayle at A Gayle Force

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:

Hi friends! It's Chelsee. Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner! 

... onto the winner! 
Wow. Well last week Tiffany picked a winner that had a healthy recipe, and it seems this week we are keeping with the food theme. I was scanning and saw something fried and had to click! The title containing the word southern made me think the guys would just love this! I must say it looks so tasty from the pictures! I highly highly suggest you all check it out and perhaps try out the recipe! I think eating healthy lately has me craving something fried...go figure! 

A Cowboy's Life is a wonderful blog. Chasity is a fantastic wife, mom and cook, just check out her blog, but I warn you the pictures will make you hungry!  Go check her out! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wedding Planning Progress

I feel like Wedding Friday should be a thing. So I'm making it a thing.

I don't talk about my wedding much (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!), so I figured I'd give you, my lovely readers, an update. It's pretty basic.

Things We Have Already Done:

  • Found and booked the ceremony space
  • Found and booked the reception space
  • Got the DJ, decorations, lighting, and photobooth
  • Picked out bridesmaid dresses (and my girls have already bought them!)
  • Found THE dress and the shoes
  • Planned bouquets (meaning I know exactly what I want everything to look like)
  • Planned (and started buying stuff for) the centerpieces
  • Picked invitations
  • Picked out favors
  • Bought bridesmaid gifts
  • Engagement pictures
  • Sent save the dates
  • Contacted the Pastor
  • Picked readings for the ceremony

Things That are in Progress:

  • Cake tastings
  • Food tastings
  • Searching for a tux
  • Picking a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner
  • Planning the honeymoon
  • First hair trial is next month

This is so not a complete list. I'm getting married in seven months (can we freak out about that?) and I plan to thoroughly enjoy coasting until then. The big stuff -- and a quite a bit of the little stuff -- is done and the rest will come together.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Bucket List

It has been brought to my attention (dang, that sounded serious. Don't worry, it's not.) that the SITSgirls are hosting a back to blogging challenge. This is just what I need! And to top it off, their prompts are actually interesting!

I realize that the post I'm writing today is actually yesterday's prompt, but I'm a rebel so I'm gonna do it anyway.

1. The Fair: I know this makes me a child, but I have to go to the fair every year. Technically it's always on a weekend that is still considered summer, but in my book, once I go to the fair it's officially Fall. Gimme all the lemonade, funnel cake, corn dogs, fries, and 10 trips around on the Ferris Wheel and I'm a happy girl.

2. Lobster Festival: I'm pretty sure this is only a thing where I grew up. Every year, the Rotary Club of the county I grew up in puts on a lobster festival at the end of September. Tickets include two lobsters, a bowl of fried clams, all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and sides, and all-you-can-drink soda and beer. I never miss it. There's also entertainment, a silent auction, and raffles.

3. Renaissance Festival: As you may know, I've already done this. However, I usually go in October and I'm planning to go again this year, so I'm leaving it on the list. Nothing quite says Fall like walking around in hay and mud in cool weather while watching people dressed as wenches and pirates and eating turkey legs with your hands.

4. Pumpkin Patch: Does this require an explanation? As I've gotten older I've started to care less about picking my own pumpkin and more about going to a farmers market where I can buy a pumpkin and apple cider and apple cider doughnuts. If you're in the greater DC area, I highly recommend Miller Farms in PG County.

5. Weekend Getaway: Erich and I always try to go away for a weekend in the Fall. Actually, I don't know if we so much try to do this or if it just always happens that way. Last year it was Williamsburg, but I'm not sure where we'll go this year. I do know we're going to Philadelphia after Thanksgiving, so maybe that will be it.

So these are the things I absolutely have to do, otherwise it's just not Fall. And clearly I like fairs and festivals. There are always things that get added to the list, and they're different depending on the year. This year we're adding a trip to visit friends and to go to the Maryland Wine Festival, going to eat crabs before it's too late, a few concerts, and probably a trip the the winery. Between the months of September and November I usually don't have a free weekend, but I like it that way.

What's on your bucket list?

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Weekend Recap

People still do these, right? Well I haven't done one in a while, so I feel like it's slightly less obnoxious.


Friday was a pretty typical work day. Erich and I had plans to go see a movie that night, but then we took advantage of Petco's opening for a grooming appointment instead. Louie (who I still need to write a post about) was so fluffy and scruffy that we couldn't see his eyes. We dropped him off at 6:30 (and I nearly cried leaving him with someone he didn't know because I knew he'd be scared -- he has separation anxiety #dogmomproblems) and went to dinner at Outback. We hadn't eaten at an Outback in months, but we had the usual service/problems, even though it was a different restaurant. (See here.) But the drink I had was awesome. I will say that. I'd probably break up with Outback for good, but potato soup, I just can't quit you.

Louie came back to us looking like a completely different dog! And for some reason he looks extra tiny here. He's not a big dog by any means, but he's 26 pounds.


Erich and I had plans to go to Mount Vernon on Saturday, but my mom called Friday night and said she wanted to go to the Renaissance Festival. She never wants to go, and I always want to go, so obviously we did that instead. 

I invited my bessssst fraaaan and she met us there that morning. We enjoyed a breakfast beer (cider for me because beer makes me gag) and made snarky comments about the people around us. The people-watching is incredible. Then I made Erich take ridiculous pictures with me. Sorry for the quality -- I have no idea what happened. 

Since we didn't make it to the movie Friday night, we rescheduled for Saturday, but when we got home from the festival I promptly fell asleep. Until midnight. So then I was totally awake and we stayed up until 3:00 a.m. watching True Detective. We truly are a wild couple, really. 


Erich's band practice was cancelled (yay for me!) so we went to get lunch from this awesome Italian deli down the street from us, then went home and watched the game. I'm still mad that the Redskins lost by 3, but...I guess I'm not surprised. We did homework and had a really boring day. I didn't even cook dinner. Lame.

Here's a picture of my other dog (the one that lives with my parents) in a bow tie. Mom's getting him ready for the wedding. 

You're welcome.

Influenster #VitaVoxBox

I've got another VoxBox review for you today! This one is the Vitality Vox Box. I think I may have said this about each box, but this one might be my favorite. (I'm running low on pictures because for some reason I can't find them on my computer, so bear with me until I locate them.)

I loved the packaging. Is that weird? It was so bright and happy!

Here's the run-down.

First Degree Advanced Burn Cream: I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but I'm really excited about it. I'm always burning myself on something (a hot pan, my curling iron, whatever), but since I got this in the box I actually haven't burned myself. I wanna say bummer, but...not really.

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance: We don't need details on this, right? They're good, but not my favorite. But I'm also pretty sloth-like, so it makes no difference to me that they're sport-friendly.

Softlips Cube: OBSESSED. Hands down my favorite product from the box. I keep it on my desk at work and it's almost gone because I reapply 9275492478 times a day. It leaves a subtle tingle, and if I haven't made it clear before, that's my favorite part of a chapstick. This leaves my lips feeling so soft, and I don't have a single negative thing to say about it. I received the pomegranate blueberry flavor, and mint is next on my list to try.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Serum: I have yet to try this. I'm saving all my serums and age stuff for closer to the wedding. I'll probably do a series next year of what worked and what didn't.

Bikini Ready Energy Gummies: LOVE THESE. I felt like I had more energy after using these, but I suppose that would only be beneficial if I actually wanted to work out. But I do plan on buying these.

Pure Leaf Iced Tea: I am such a huge fan of this tea. I was sent the unsweetened version. I actually prefer the ones that are sweetened, but an ice-cold unsweetened Pure Leaf tea can be so refreshing. This is what I drank while I was getting ready for my friend's wedding. You know, because getting your hair done and putting on makeup can really make you thirsty.

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. The opinions in this post are entirely my own.*

Friday, September 19, 2014

Things I'm Not Obsessed With

There's something I need to get off my chest.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't be a blogger. (Not that I'm doing a very good job of it anyway.) There are some trends that I just can't get on board with. I'm not trying to throw shade, because I know I like things that are not widely accepted, so I get it. But we're talking really, super popular things that I just cannot make myself like. Granted, there are exceptions for some of these. Ready?

Chevron - I just don't get it. With the exception of these glasses. Obviously. Because gold. I own these. I love these. Yes.

Headbands - They hurt me. Also, I must have a weird shaped head or something because they never stay on. Regualr headbands slide, and the elastic ones just won't cooperate. I think they're really cute, so this one is just more of a personal fail.

Pumpkin things - I have never loved pumpkin. I love actual pumpkins, but once fall comes around and everything smells and tastes like a spicy gourd, I'm over here like, "Hey! I like apples!" Ready for the exception? There's an exception to my exception, here. (I'm a bit complicated, huh?) I'll only use this scent as soap. I won't burn the candle or use the body wash. But even I can admit that this is the perfect fall scent.

Hats - Don't get me wrong. Winter in DC can be crazy, and you better believe I will put a hat on to walk from the door to my car. Or at the very least an ear warmer. But all those floppy hats that are so popular this season? No.

Leather leggings - Just...why? No exception here.

Chalkboards - I know I'm going to eat my words when I jump on the chalkboard bumpdate bandwagon. But until then? I'll stick with making graphics and editing pictures. It also doesn't help that I have no artistic ability.

There are plenty of trends that I'm all about, too. Maybe I'll follow this up with a part two.

Are there any trends that you don't love? Or trends that you do love? Send 'em my way!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The First Negative Comment

This happened DAYS (like a lot of days) ago, and I've been sitting on it debating whether or not I wanted to blog about it. I decided that I couldn't NOT blog about it. This is the first time I've been trolled on Instagram and I just had to share it with all of you. I mostly found it hilarious. Let's begin.

Some of you may have seen this picture that I posted relatively recently:

Yep, that's the once-in-a-while-HUGE-shop-because-we-have-no-food cart picture. I'm so bad about running to the store to grab stuff we need, so it usually sneaks up on me when there's no food and all of a sudden I have to spend a million years grocery shopping. My own fault, yes, but still a pain. (PS - I usually don't shop at Wal-Mart, but I knew this trip was going to be expensive.) Allow me to show you the caption I posted. 

Is anybody offended yet? 

I think it was the next day that I saw a new comment on this picture. It was especially strange because this wasn't one of my more popular posts (and why would it be? Just normal everyday mundane tasks being Instagrammed...no big deal). Upon reading this new comment, I think I felt every emotion possible in the span of 30 seconds. Exhibit A:

Let's discuss. I don't know this girl. Upon stalking her, I realized that all she does is search for random pictures from people she doesn't know and leave rude comments. It was so evident because all the comments on her (maybe 10?) pictures were from others calling her out. I thought about 9178435 different ways to respond to this. Do I leave her a comment on one of her pictures? Do I ignore it all together? Neither. I left my comment right underneath and addressed her directly. Exhibit B:

As you can see, I started off by being pretty polite, but then I just had to add my true feelings. I was not about to let this little girl leave this comment on my picture for all my real friends to see and let them think that I'm some horrible person. Generally I'm a fan of the leave-it-alone mentality, and I don't like to call attention to people who clearly want the attention, but I just couldn't resist. 

If you have any questions about me or my personal life or choices, please ask. If you're wondering what I mean by "recycling" my plastic bags, I'll explain. I keep some in my car to use as impromptu trash bags -- you never know when you'll need one. I also pack my lunches in grocery bags. I use them as poop bags for my dog. I use them to line small trash cans.I use them to put my hedgehog's dirty bedding in before putting it in the trash can. I use them when I'm cooking to contain raw meat containers and other food trash so bacteria doesn't spread everywhere. Basically, I use grocery bags instead of buying other products for this stuff. 

Not that I think I need to explain this to the whole world, but obviously I'm feeling a little defensive. After I left my comment, I laughed it off. But I had to address that I'm not some earth-hating, nature-polluting yuppie who prefers plastic. Because that's not the case. 

Kthanks. I feel better now.

Friday, September 5, 2014

High Five for Friday

It was a slow week, so I'm digging for the good. But it just makes me realize that there's so much to be happy about. Also, I'm easily amused.

1. I spent Friday & Saturday nights at my parents' house last weekend, and on Saturday my mom and I got some good shopping in. Gotta take advantage of those Labor Day sales!

2. On Monday Erich and I spent nearly the entire day cleaning. It was a pain, but much needed. And I feel so much better now. Monday was good. Also, I know that this is a stupid picture, but we finally decided on a shelving unit for the bathroom. Our tiny little bathroom has no space, and this thing only needs to last for a year. Done. Yay!

bathroom storage, target

3. I finally watched Frozen! I think I was the last person on earth who hadn't seen it, but that is finally remedied. I was already in a silly mood, so of course I laughed at everything. I have to say, though, I can't get on board with Elsa. I didn't like her. I mean, she almost killed her sister twice. Please don't send hate mail.

4. I cooked four nights in a row. One of those nights (Monday -- the good day) was chicken and dumplings in the crockpot. So easy and so good. On top of that, I didn't eat out for lunch once, so I saved a bunch of money this week. That feels good. It's the little things, really.

chicken and dumplings

5. We ordered our save the dates! I had a friend design them, so she sent me the final files and we finally got to order them! They should be in hopefully next week then will be in the mail the week after that. Ahh! It feels real! In addition to that, I got a little sample-happy with invitations. I've ordered 11. So many options! I also knocked out a couple bridesmaid gifts. I'm on it.

wedding, save the date
This is the picture we chose to use, but I won't show you the finished product. At least not yet. Sorry!
Question for brides (past, present and future): Did you send out traditional invitations, e-vites, or those foldable invitations where you tear off the response card? Why did you choose what you did? How did it work out?

Linking up with Lauren

ABCs of Me

Alright. So. I have a few new faces around here (HI!) and I've managed to NOT blog for a million years. I am so incredibly nosy, so my favorite posts are when bloggers tell me everything about themselves. Hopefully you all feel the same way because that's what we're doing here today. And I need a super lazy way to get back into this blogging thing. 

I did a basic Google search for the ABCs of me, and a bunch of bloggers obviously have already done this. So this is a compilation of what I found on a few. (Credit goes to this lady and this one, but who knows where the questions originated.) Also, sorry if some of these are repeats from posts I already have. Oh well. 

Thanks to Ben Hallissy for taking this!
A - Age: 25
B - Birthday: July 26
C - Chore you hate: "Small cleaning." Does that make sense? No, of course it doesn't. I'd rather reorganize a whole room or clean the bathroom or wash dishes or something than do random little clean-ups throughout the house. For example, cleaning off the coffee table when it's covered in piles of random stuff is my idea of a nightmare. So is cleaning off my desk.

Clean Clean Up animated GIF
D - Drink: Juice. I'm five.
E - Eyes: I've always said blue, but my fiance told me the other day they're actually green. Hmm.
F - Favorite color: Red & Yellow
G - Gent: Erich, the fiance. 
H - Hobby: Reading

90s Melida animated GIF
I - Indulgence: Is being lazy an indulgence? No? Then milkshakes.
J - Job: Technical Writer
K - Kids: None yet, but someday.
L - Love: I love a lot of things. Maybe I'll make that its own post.
M - Music: I listen to tons of stuff. I don't listen to much country or gangster rap, but everything else is game.
N - Nickname: Erich calls me girl. I don't hate it. My family calls me Gaylie. My middle name is Elizabeth, so it stemmed from Gayle E. then turned into Gaylie. 
O - One Wish: I wish I had more money. Selfish.
P - Pet peeve: SO MANY PET PEEVES. I really hate when people eat hamburgers upside down. There is a TOP bun for a reason. 
Q - Quote: "People should fall in love with their eyes closed." -Andy Warhol

People should fall in love with their eyes closed!
R - Residence: Virginia, but probably only for about another year.
S - Siblings: Three step-siblings, but I didn't grow up with them. Only child.
T - Time you wake up: During the week, anywhere between 5:45-6. On a weekend anywhere from 8:30-10. 
U - University: Salisbury

Fulton Hall
This is the school I graduated from -- Fulton School of Liberal Arts. {via}
V - Vegetables you dislike: Avocado. Yes, that means I don't like guac. 
W - Worst Habit: I have a lot, but we'll go with picking the skin around my nails. It's totally gross and it ruins my cuticles. 
X - X-rays: Mostly my teeth. Maybe my foot once, and a chest X-ray when I had bronchitis earlier this year.
Y - Yuck: Snakes. I just can't.
Z - Zoo (favorite animal): Giraffes

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Who Doesn't Love Free Jewelry? {Giveaway}

Hey everyone! Before I decided on my ridiculously long blog-break (wedding planning and school are so time-consuming!), I agreed to team up with my friend Elora and some of her awesome blog friends to bring you this giveaway! Elora makes jewelry (which you can see here), and she's giving away some beautiful hand-made pieces. Definitely check them out. I mean, who doesn't love free jewelry?

a Rafflecopter giveaway