Monday, October 20, 2014

Real Life Is Hard

This is no longer my view when I wake up and that is devastating 

Monday mornings are always a little harder than other mornings, but lets be honest, this particular morning, I am really struggling. Its the first Monday we're back to work after a week and a half vacation in Hawaii and I probably am going to be crying about it for the next week or two. Not only is the time difference a total killer because our bodies believe its four hours earlier than it actually is in Idaho, but now we have actual responsibilities and alarm clocks and have to make our own food. Wah way wah.

As for our weekend, although it was nice to have a weekend before returning to work, we stayed REALLY busy. We took the red-eye flight home Thursday night and arrived in Boise around 9:30 on Friday morning and went almost immediately to our beds and slept for most of the day. We met up with our wedding photographer and her husband that evening for a fall anniversary photo session and then went out to dinner with them which was a total blast. We absolutely adore them and love when we get to spend time with them. Our lovely photographer posted a sneak peak at our pictures that we are already in LOVE with. Fall is seriously the BEST.

Saturday morning we slept in til almost ten which is unheard of for us, but the time change was just killing me! It just so happens that our family pictures were scheduled for Saturday afternoon, so after lounging around feeling bad for ourselves that we were preparing our own food and wearing sweaters instead of swimsuits, we met up with my mom's side of the family and had even more pictures taken.

As soon as those were over, I headed to my gorgeous friend Karissa's pageant. Her mom and I are kindred spirits and got to the event an hour and a half early so we could be first in line and were Mrs. Meridian Villages biggest fans. Karissa did AMAZING and placed in the Top 15 AND she won Mrs. Photogenic because, duh, have you seen her? To celebrate we indulged in pizza and wine at her parents house after and it was seriously SUCH a fun night. I am so proud of her and if you want more details you should keep your eye out for a blog post from here in the near future.

Sunday was hard because it was full of adult, real life responsibilities like grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry. We have a busy week coming up, Ronnie is starting his second quarter of school, I am babysitting, and I am running the Arthritis Foundation Run on Saturday. Its my last week of work in my current office which is SO bittersweet but I am looking forward to this new challenge. Stay tuned for more Hawaii stories soon, friends. Its SO good to be back.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Silky, Soft, Shiny Hair by Dove

I just spent eight days at the beach and for the first time ever, loved my hair the whole time! I have long and thick hair that is prone to tangles and knots so I am very picky about the hair products I use. While we were in Hawaii, I packed my Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products knowing that my hair would need some extra love because I'd be spending my days in the sun, salt water and the chlorine filled pools.  

I wanted to be able to transition easily from beach hair to pretty and stylish date night hair, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily my hair styled after using the delicious smelling shampoo and conditioner. This stuff left my hair smelling like angel dust all day and feeling softer than ever. After just one wash my hair felt silkier and was tangle free. I can't wait to try out some of the fall hairstyles I keep seeing. Lately I've loved the gorgeous braids and the side ponytails I've been seeing on my Pinterest boards!

The dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil and the combination of the two gives it an incredible smell. I loved how quickly it absorbed into my hair, leaving it shiny and smooth without looking greasy.

My biggest complaint with most shampoos and conditioners is that they leave my hair feeling weighted down with residue but the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products left my hair silky and smooth without weighing it down.  This product line would be perfect for all hair types and I dare you to give it a try yourself and fall in love with the touch and feel of your hair or your money back!

Dove will refund your money if you're not completely satisfied.* I LOVE a company that stands behind their product. If you do give it a try, make sure to share your silky results at #silkyhairdare, and if you want a chance to win up to 20,000 in prizes** use the hashtag #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win. Just visit for more information.

*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit for details 

 **No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Things I Wish I Didn't Love | Two Martinis

Happy Thursday friends. Today one of my blogging besties is taking over this space and keeping you all very entertained I am sure because she's hilarious. Lisa is the author of Two Martinis and our friendship grew over eight hours of g-chat a day that then turned into a few more hours of texts after we'd left the office and we even met in person this past summer when I visited Chicago. She is a real treat and her blog is the most real blog I've ever read that never fails to make me laugh out loud!

I really wish I didn't love Hawaii so I wouldn't be insanely jealous of Brittany being there while I'm here in Chicago, slowly losing feeling in my extremities from the cold... but alas, I do love Hawaii and I'm sure Brittany is having a blast and enjoying many a tropical beverage (hopefully the kinds that come with mini-umbrellas!) Anyway, Hawaii isn't the only thing I wish I didn't love, my list also includes:

- Reality TV. I really wish I didn't (at all) support such families as the Kardashians or the Real Housewives or any of the families on '16 and Pregnant' and TV shows like that, but I simply can't look away! As soon as I start watching these series I get hooked and there's simply nothing I can do about it at that point. I mean, I love reading, but I find myself reaching for the remote more often than I reach for a novel. It's a shame, really.

- Fall. I love fall - it's the typical 'white girl' in me. There is nothing wrong with the season of fall except for the fact that I anticipate fall and then it quickly becomes winter and I really do not love winter. I mean, I love it initially, but not all 8 months of it.

- Doughnuts (and cupcakes, Oreos, poptarts, etc.). I have a sweet tooth and there's nothing I can do about it. I can eat healthy foods but then I always need a dessert, obviously. And the gourmet doughnut shops in Chicago? I love them and I hate that I love them because I will travel great distances for a uniquely flavored doughnut. I wish I preferred oatmeal, but really, it's not even a competition.

Flowers. I love fresh flowers in my kitchen, but I'm always so disappointed when they die, so of course I have to go out and buy more fresh flowers to replace them... It's a vicious cycle, really.

- Exercise classes. I love to exercise, and that's a good thing. However, over the years I've participated in such classes as: boxing, yoga, barre, running groups, Crossfit, and random classes at the gym. There is nothing wrong with loving to sweat, but the money I've paid to sweat in these classes over the years is unbelievable! I wish I loved just running or biking by myself, but alas, I'm a social exerciser.

- French Fries. French fries are what keep me from ordering a small salad as a side (at a restaurant) every.single.time.

- Chicago. There are other cities that would be great to live in, I'm sure. There are places with better weather, lower crime rates, better schools, lower rental rates etc etc etc. However, the fact remains that I absolutely love the city of Chicago and therefore I'm still faithfully living here five years after I first moved downtown. I wish I loved small towns, where I could live like a queen for what we pay to live in a big city, but alas, I thrive on the energy and bustle of Chicago.

- Chicago sports teams. I shouldn't even need to explain this, but I will. I'm a Cubs fan. The Cubs haven't won since 1908. I'm also a Bears fan, and we all know how that season is going (if you don't know, it's going badly). I wish I didn't love these teams so I could stop torturing myself, but alas, I'm loyal to these lovable losers.

That's enough from me! Tell me...

What do you love but wish you didn't?!

** Oh, in case you didn't know (of course you didn't know, how could you?!), I'm Lisa from Two Martinis and I'm writing this post because Brittany is away on an adventure and I'm sitting on my couch realizing that I have the heat on and the windows open and that's probably really ineffective so I should shut the windows. I write about marriage and my days spent as a clueless new-mom and everything else I find to be relevant. Come on over and say hello!

(You can also say 'hi' to me on Bloglovin'Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest...)**

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5 Affordable Wines | Sage

Have you guys been loving the guest posters as much as I have this week? They are amazing and today, Cassie from Sage is discussing one of my favorite topics: WINE. I love wine and I love affordable wine even more. Cassie is a newlywed and was one of my first blog friends so everyone give her a warm welcome! 


Hi there! I'm Cassie and I blog over at Sage. I've been known to ramble a lot about faith, my life as a newlywed, and my love for wine. I grew up in wine country, so I like to think I'm a seasoned professional (sarcasm friends). But seriously what fun is wine if you (a) don't know what wine to buy and (b) if it burns a hole in your pocket?! Thankfully, today I am here to share five AFFORDABLE wines I love.

1. Apothic Red

I can usually find this red blend for around $8 a bottle. It's a very drinkable wine that boasts dark fruit flavors and jam-like red fruit notes. It is to die for.

2. Casillero de Diablo

The best way to describe this Chilean wine, in my opinion, is sweet and peppery. I know that sounds strange but the combination of blackberry, mineral, and oak flavors in this wine is unique and SO TASTY. Especially considering it is under $10.

3. Cupcake

I love ALL Cupcake wines but my all time favorite is Red Velvet. I pretty much love everything with the words "Red Velvet" in it so I figured this wouldn't be an exception. My prediction was accurate. It's very smooth and easy to drink. It has hints of cocoa, black cheery, and blackberry. I also think it's pretty creamy. A lovely wine all around.

4. Line 39

Their Sauvignon Blanc is to DIE for. The citrus hints remind me of grapefruit and lemon, with a little bit of grass aroma. I know that sounds strange but this wine is CRISP and easy to drink. It's a must try if you are a white drinker.

5. Les Fontanelles

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favorite types of wine. Les Fontanelles does not disappoint. This wine has more a of a chocolate edge. It's smooth and medium-bodied, the perfect Friday night glass of wine to share with a friend!

What's your go to affordable wine?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Be That Couple | Life With Amberly & Joe

Happy Tuesday! As you can imagine, Hawaii is amazing. Okay, well, lets be honest I am not in Hawaii as I write this but I WILL be in Hawaii when you read it. Never the less, I know it WILL be amazing so lets go with that. The lovely blogger I have here today is Amberly from Life With Amberly and Joe who I actually got to meet at a blog conference last week. I LOVE her marriage advice and wisdom, and she has more to share with you today!

Whenever I am out in public, I watch people. At restaurants, in the mall, on campus, at the store and around town. I'm entertained by first dates and public family outings, but I especially love to observe couples in love. I'm sure everyone will agree with me when I say that there's nothing better than an older couple who still holds hands in public, it's the one thing that I always hear people comment on. But I love to see couples of all ages in love and proud to show it! It makes me sad when I see two people who are obviously married or in a relationship but don't seem interested in each other or all that excited to be together. And although they may have a strong relationship, the way they act toward each other doesn't really shout, "We're in love!! We're in love!! And we don't care who knows it!"
My weird goal is to be the couple that everyone looks at and thinks, 'Man, they look like they have a lot of fun together and are really in love.' Whether people pay attention us when we're out in public or not, I never want to give anyone the impression that I am unhappy in my marriage, because that's never going to be the truth. We don't have a perfect relationship, it has its ups and downs, but do random strangers on the street need to be privy to the struggles we're having? No, most definitely not! Because the goal of my blog is to inspire other wives to have awesome marriages, I figure that the attitude I have about my online presence should carry over into real life as well. And if the way I interact with my husband inspires someone else to love their marriage more, that's even better!
Don't Be Afraid of a Little PDA Obviously nobody wants to see you make out and if you're too touchy, you'll make your friends and family sick, but that doesn't mean that you can't show each other some love. Holding hands, a quick leg squeeze, hugging and sometimes even a quick kiss are all fairly socially acceptable forms of touch in my opinion. Remember how everyone admires the little old couple who's still holding hands? You don't have to be old for hand holding in public to be something that people envy. Don't Criticize Each Other in Public Fights are going to happen and you're not always going to agree with what your spouse does or has to say, but letting them know how you feel in a public setting is awkward for everyone involved. Not only does it make those around you feel extremely uncomfortable, but it is also the opposite of letting everyone know how much you love your spouse. Save your disagreements for home and don't make your spouse look foolish. Don't Be Afraid of Having Fun Being an adult comes with responsibilities, but it doesn't mean that you have to stop having fun. I run into a lot of people my age who I don't think ever laugh or smile anymore, they take life so seriously maybe because they feel like they need to be really mature at their age or stage of life. Have fun with your spouse in public, do something silly and let loose a little. But obviously, still be respectful of others and think before you do something irresponsible. Don't Ignore Each Other for Your Phones I love to sit in a restaurant and look around at everyone eating dinner to see how many people have their phones out and are totally ignoring each other. It's something that my husband and I have been guilty of, but are trying to be better about. When you go out to spend time together, make it quality time. Don't treat your spouse like they're the least important thing on your mind, give them the attention that they deserve. Even if you're both mutually on your phone, it looks really silly to those around you and I PROMISE, people notice.
What do you do to ensure your love for your spouse is obvious when you're around other people?