Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Today, I am over here, and if you love me, you will go LEAVE A COMMENT telling this sweet girl hey. It is the proper blogger thing to do, I tell ya. Don't worry, I turned my comments off, so you don't have to waste time commenting on both. You're welcome.


Next up...remember that HUGE giveaway I won?
I'm not gonna lie...I had all these aspirations of sharing each and every one of these fabulous ladies in their own post, but let's be realistic...that would take YEARS. All you need to know, is that they are all fabulous, and that I am forever indebted to the AMAZING Erin for hookin' it up! If you haven't been introduced to her blog Living In Yellow, then go now and thank me later...


There were more, but one or two never sent me the prizes and one or two blogs don't exist anymore.
If you happen to be one of the unmentioned bloggers, feel free to contact me!


As if that wasn't enough, I also won a Target Gift Card from:
Messy Dirty Hair // The Chiffon Diary

A gorgeous bracelet from:
My Kind Of Crazy


AND a pair of shoes from:
Sky High Heels and Sweatpants Too
(just ordered and can't WAIT to get them!)

It's totally okay if you hate me now...I didn't deserve all of these fabulous wins, but I'll sure as heck take 'em. Thank you to the blogging gods for their generosity!

Now, go check out my Guestpost, and have a fabulous holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Inspire Me: Healthy, Calories Don't Come Free

A Mommas Desires And Pacifiers

Today's inspiration came from a little chat I had with Stephanie.
She happens to be very fit, and we have a lot in common with our eating habits. We end up swapping secrets, sharing encouragement quite often, and I know that she inspires me!


Originally, I was commenting on Stephanie's post and the fact that we all get offered snacks at the office, free samples at the grocery store, and soon it will be goodies for the holidays. It is nearly impossible to say no in these situations, but I mentioned that I have to remind myself "I love free food, but the calories don't come free!"

Then, as I continued to contemplate this statement, I thought about how it applies to the "fat free", "low fat", "reduced fat", "sugar free" claims of the food industry. If you actually read the nutrition facts, you will see that all of these claims are just hiding what is really in the ingredients list, and giving you a false sense of "healthy".

For example, having a diet coke at lunch is:
 a) Just as bad
b) Doesn't negate the burger and fries you are about to down.

I have a simple challenge, if you are brave enough.

For ONE week:
No sodas, not even diet.
Drink water wherever and whenever you can.
No fast food.
Eat the right portions.
(Your stomach will shrink and you will feel fuller longer)
Stay UNDER 40 grams of sugar/day.
Stay UNDER 2,000 mg of Sodium
Read the labels, and follow these guidelines:

JUST by cutting down you sugar, sodium, and portion sizes, I can GUARANTEE that you will notice a visible difference AND feel less bloated. Doesn't that sound enticing?
Everyone tells me that they want to make the make these for one little week.
Do all of things or even just one of these things. Just do something, instead of complaining!

Source: via Sofia on Pinterest

Put down the cheetos. Just sayin'.

Honestly, I know it's hard. I'm not perfect in my eating, but I strive to be. I don't label things as "bad" or "good". I just surround myself with yummy, healthy snacks and options and remind myself, that "Calories don't come free".

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Define Your Own Perception, Part V

Did you know that it was time for the next round of Girl Behind The Blog?
Today I get to share how blogging has changed me and share my "spot".
It happens to be my favorite place to stop and smell the roses.


That leads us to my other favorite way to stop and smell the roses.
That's right folks, it's time for Perception Is Everything!

First up, we have Kelly, and I am so incredibly proud to have her opening up to us!
She really took this little project of mine to heart, and allowed herself to show you a side that no one has seen of her. Just another reason why I can't help but love this girl.
GF's for LIFE!


Hi everyone! You might already know me, I’m Kelly & I write a fashion & lifestyle blog called Messy.Dirty.Hair. I am all about embracing the imperfections in life. Of course I wanted to be a part of Janna’s sponsor program because, well you know she’s amazing. It has actually been very hard for me to figure out what to write. I think it’s because I usually don’t get too personal on my blog. Not that I have anything to hide or that I want people to think I live this perfect life, but just because it’s not what my blogs about. However, since I love Janna so much I’m switching it up & getting personal.

I feel like my entire life has been about people thinking I’m something different than who I really am. When Janna says perception is everything, it really is true. For some reason I have always been perceived as this girl who lives this perfect life, with the perfect boyfriend & the perfect clothes. I can’t tell you the amount of times people have said to me – ‘your life is so perfect’ or ‘you’re so lucky to have such a perfect boyfriend’….blah blah. Newsflash people – I do not live the perfect life. I do not have the perfect boyfriend…ok maybe I have the perfect clothes but I’m paying for that…i.e. credit card bills….but that’s besides the point.

 No one has a perfect life, no matter how hard they may try to come off like they do. My entire life has been far from perfect. To be honest it’s actually been tough. For being only 27 years old I have actually already gone through way too much. However, I’m not going to sit here and list all the bad things that have happened to me throughout my life. I guess that’s because I don’t want anyone feeling bad for me. I don’t need pity. But I do want to show you that just because someone may look like they have it all in reality they probably are going through the exact same stuff you may have gone through.
I was bullied throughout my school years. Starting from kindergarten allllllll the way to the end of high school. I never ever made any sports team. I was always cut. I never won any school elections I went for. I wasn’t homecoming or Prom queen. My high school boyfriend verbally abused me, & then it got into physical abuse for 2 years. Right before college my parents got divorced. My family was splitting up. In college I was partying way too much & started developing an addiction to alcohol. I messed up a lot during that period of my life. I made a lot of mistakes during my alcohol induced haze. Mistakes that cannot be taken back…. It’s crazy I actually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in those 4 years …..& I’m going to stop right there. 
Yes, there is so much more I could tell you but I’m not going too.

Plus why rehash the past? Yeah I have a pretty intense past but it’s what got me to where I am right now. My life still isn’t perfect by any means. And it never will be. It took me awhile to get over all the things in my past. Especially the f ups I made in college. But I realized if I didn’t go through all that I wouldn’t be where I am now. And I love where I am now….I have never been happier. But of course life will throw more curve balls at me, but this time I’m ready. The one good thing about going through all that crap is it makes you strong. And stuff that might have bothered you in the past doesn’t anymore.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is looks can be deceiving. Just because it may look like someone has the perfect life, most likely they’re fighting some type of battle too.
Thanks Janna for this. It actually felt really good to write this...
Oh & one more thing – Embrace the Mess.

Blog || Twitter || Facebook


Sarah is my Blog Twin, and has been one of my favorites from the beginning. I think it's amazing that I have never met her, and yet we have made plans for "our" future...We are going to have some good times, I tell ya...Another funny thing, is that I thought she was short, but she is tall, and she thought I was tall, but I am short. I guess pictures don't tell all, after all!


I used to think...that I had to be married by 25.

Now I know... that setting timelines like that for yourself is unrealistic. People change so much in their twenties, and stressing out about getting married by a certain time is just ridiculous. (I just celebrated, yes celebrated, my 1 year of being single….and I'm 25 :) )

People see me as… being mean & intimidating. I kid you not, I can't tell you how many times I've heard that people think I don't like them before we become friends.....I guess I need to work on my facial expressions. ha

But I hope they know... that I'm really not like that. I love meeting new people and if you're not a raging biotch, then I'd love to be your friend :P

I blog because... ahhh there are so many reasons!! I love having a place to voice and share my opinion. I had no idea that you could make friends from blogging, but boy am I glad that you can because I've now got the best group of girlfriends :) Love y'all!! xo

Blog || Twitter || Pinterest || Instagram

I know that I keep saying how proud I am of my fellow bloggers, and especially the ladies that have graced my blog this month, but I just can't say it enough. I feel so blessed to be a part of the blog world and all that it entails. As a matter of fact, I don't think I would have had the courage to divulge my biggest secret if all of these ladies hadn't have opened themselves up to us first.

Thank you all for showing us how to rise above and learn from our circumstances instead of letting them define us. Every one of you has touched my heart more than you know, and I will be forever grateful. You have outdone yourselves ladies, and more importantly, you have made this month my proudest month in blogging. I will never forget...


As this month is rounding out, I am ready to introduce some new faces 'round these parts, so let me know if you are interested in participating! You can comment, email me directly, or visit here for more info. Everyone has a story, and you can be heard by sharing it here!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Everybody Is A Winner!

The giveaway has ended over on Don't Quote The Raven, and we have a winner!!

Jamie will be drinkin' Starbucks, while rockin' her new blang.
[$150 worth of new blang...'cuz that's just how we roll]

She's not the only winner that we have today, though.
I am going to brag on my soldier for a minute, and tell you about how my man is
Soldier of The Quarter!

I don't know all of the details, but he had to face a panel of "judges" that drilled them, and he "won" the  board! This not only gets him soldier of the quarter status, but also comes with an award and leads to a possible promotion. I could go into a lot more details, but as I said, I don't know them.


What I do know, is that I am so smitten with him! Seeing pictures of him makes my heart flutter.
I just love how dedicated he is to taking care of our little family, and my heart is full of pride.
I just want to squeeze him to pieces!!

Three months....only three months!
{Thank'ya jeeesuhs}

That's it for today, but be sure to come back tomorrow, because you will find LOTS of fun!
It won't be your typical Wednesday. I promise you that.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Next Step...World Finals!

And no...I am not exaggerating about that.

I am JUST now feeling caught up on sleep and energy after Thursday, so now I am happy to give you all the details of my "weekend". I mean, technically I worked Saturday and Sunday, but the particular days of the week that my weekends fall on, is a technicality.

We can say that I kicked off my "weekend" with a fabulous lunch at CPK with Sami!
[I abstained from the pizza and had a was hard]


She just so happens to live in Denver, which is so close to me!
We hadn't seen each other in a few months, so it was awesome catching up and laughing about the blog world. It's kind of funny how meeting up with bloggers in real life makes it all so real.
Plus, I am just thankful that it brought this awesome girl and I together!

She had to go back to work, but it was time for my primping sesh to start, anyhoo.
I thought, that since I didn't really have a place to get ready, getting my hair and makeup done sounded logical, but I SHOULD have learned my lesson the last time.

-Long story short-
 I asked to trim it 1.5 inches, she took four.
I asked for big glamorous curls illustrated with a picture, it was straight.
That's right. She curled it TWICE, and I still walked out with straight hair.
WTF? How do I always get these people?


Thank goodness, the MAC chick calmed me down and dolled me up quickly.
I needed extra time when I got lost and for the final curl attempt.
My gps sent me five miles away, when the venue was AT THE MALL. Go figure.
I'm not gonna lie...I was questioning my dedication at this point. If this was a normal contest and in the Springs? I probably would have packed up and gone home. Fortunately, I was an hour from home, and  had a $2,000 incentive to remember. That being said, I curled my hair in a restaurant bathroom, I donned my new $26 dress, and plastered a smile across my face.
It was game time.


It helped that we had a great group of girls; a few of which I knew. They definitely helped brighten my mood. I also thought about having an adult beverage, but I didn't really want to fall on my face.
With my luck that would have happened.


My manager called me and asked how everything was going, to which I replied, "Great, but unfortunately everyone looks amazing", and I wasn't just blowin' smoke. I did not think that I had it in the bag, so I was on pins and needles.


After we changed back into our dresses for the last time, I decided it was time to eat. The best part, was that they called us to the stage quicker than I expected, and I didn't have time to wash my hands. While I clapped as they announced second and third place, all I could think about was how my hands were sticking together with barbecue sauce. When they said my name, I was busy with that and quite surprised in general, so I'm sure that they got some great shots of my reaction. Priceless, I tell ya.


Now that I sound like a big fat complainer, I will tell you that it was all totally worth it.
It makes the win that much more sweet and will be hilarious to retell to the grandkids.
After they handed me a guitar (really?), a bag full of goodies, flowers, a check for two grand, AND tickets to Vegas for the World Finals, I began to hyperventilate and might do so again, just thinking about all of this...I think I'm in over my head, but I'll accept the challenge!
Vegas...I'm comin' for ya!!

Now I hope you all have a fabulous week!
We all deserve it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Past My Bed Time.

I didn't get home until 1:00AM,so I'll keep this short and sweet!

I started the day off right with a lunch blate in Denver. I love that Sami lives so close!
(More on that Monday, for my weekend update)

The rest of the day was spent primping, which is unusual for me.
I usually just do my own hair and makeup, but figured that I deserved a little pampering.
It actually caused me more stress than anything (I had to redo my hair three times), but I'll have to save that story too.

In case you were wondering about the outcome of last night?


Come back Monday for all the details!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inspire Me: Healthy

All In My Twenties

For the last week, I have REALLY buckled down to get ready for finals tonight.
But you know what?
I feel like I had some great healthy options, so I never felt deprived.
You are in luck, because today I will share my faves with you!

I absolutely LOVE these wraps.

Most tortillas you eat are high in calories, made with white or corn flour, and high in sodium. After you pile on the fun stuff, you could reach 1,000 calories easily and that's just ridiculous. Instead, I sub these babies in and use them for everything. You can make sandwiches, tacos, or even bake them into chips to use instead of regular ol' fried chips. This week, I made fish tacos, Basil Pesto Chicken wraps, and Chicken club wraps (minus the bacon). All of which hit the spot!

My other staple has been Citrus Jalapeno Fish.

Talk about easy and yummy! I paired it with veggies or made fish tacos with the wraps.
I love me some fish tacos. Ole'.

As for snacks, I have found some new loves:

These suckers are addicting, as are the other flavors, and If I portion them out then they are PERFECT. The key is pre-portioning them.

I don't know how many of you know the wonders of squash...but I'll let you in on a secret:

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

It can taste like PUMPKIN PIE!
You can use Butternut, Acorn, or Kabocha (biiiiig squash, but still yummy), and they all have a lovely sweet flavor. Add a little pumpkin pie spice, and you've struck gold.
Who says healthy can't be yummy?

I also wanted to share a new site that a reader showed me. It's called the Diet Spotlight, and seems to be the ultimate resource when it comes to diet/weight loss reviews. I know I always question new popular workouts or fad diets, so I think it's kind of cool that they do the research for you!
Just thought I would pass it along.

Well, y'all...wish me me luck!
Hopefully, I can share some good news tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Define Your Own Perception, Part IV

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for yesterdays support!
Raven was right. The things that we are the most apprehensive to share are what rally the support the most. I don't know if I lost followers, but I gained some!

I was remiss yesterday in telling you that I was involved in two giveaways, because I am involved in THREE! Find them here:
Messy Dirty Hair
Oh Wells Instead Of What Ifs

But I think you are here for the good stuff, because it's Wednesday which means we have some fabulous ladies to feature!


First up, we have Lesley, one of my blog BFF's, who has some awesome stuff to share with us today! She is talking about something that we ALL go through, and that's the inner turmoil we have based on our appearances. Some have weight issues, some have acne issues, and some have aging issues...but the point is that we all have them, so instead of trying to hide them, let's make a change!
Hey there!  I am Lesley and my blog is the dream tree.  I am so excited to be sharing with you a time where someone perceived me in a way that wasn't true and how it affected me positively.  Janna and I have been blogging BFFs for a long time and I'm so happy to be featured on this beauty's blog!

I am the oldest of 3 girls; we are each about 2 years apart, but I get mistaken for the youngest a lot of the time.  Most of the time people perceive me as being a lot younger than what I really am.  I’ll be 31 next month and I hear all the time that I look about 24 or so.  

I'll be honest, it used to bother the hell out of me.  When I was in my early 20s, all I wanted was to grow up and look older.  Well, you hit about 25 and that all comes to a fast halt, or at least it did for me.  Today I do pretty much anything to stay looking youthful.  Unfortunately, I have a problem with aging and I know that I won’t be embracing the wrinkles, fine lines, and looking older, down the road. 

Part of how I stay looking the way I do is because of genetics, but I also try to take very good care of myself, face included.  I have been using moisturizer since junior high. This is so important for all skin types, even oily skin! I also used to be so bad with washing my face at nite, but for the last few years, I do it every nite. I may go once a month without doing it, but very rarely. Shamefully, I have not done this the last two of three nites, but I blame that on my weekend getaway. I feel ultra-guilty though!

I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit vain. Well, maybe vain is not the word because I'm not conceited, but I care a great deal about my looks.  I'm definitely not a stuck up, prettier-than-you, better-than-you person, it's just I don't like how I look with a naked face.  I do have a fine line here and there and I understand that comes with aging {gasp!}, but I like to take care of my skin so they don't lead into deeper wrinkles.

I like to look good and I want to stay looking young.  Because people perceive me to be younger than what I really am, I want to keep that up. I hope that doesn't sound too awful, but I'm sure most of you are the same way.  Therefore, taking care of my skin is a priority! 

Below are the products that I’m currently using in my daily routine.  As you can tell, I don’t use one particular brand. I have used so many throughout the years that I pretty much stick to my favorites now.

my skincare set

1 - Burt's Bees Peach and Willowbark Scrub - I use this every morning in the shower.  I did a review a while back because I loved it so much.  Check it out for more info.  I have been using this stuff for probably 2 years.

2 - Mary Kay Day/Nite Solution - I also use these every morning and every nite after washing my face.  I've also done a review of these as well.  They're amazing.  I've been using these for about 5 years. 

3 - Aloe Soothing Day Cream from Body Shop - I have probably used this for about 4 years now every morning on my face.  Doesn't contain any SPF so thanks to my morning serum,  they make a great combo.

4 - Natrulift Facial Wash from Body Shop - great creamy cleanser that I use at nite.  I've probably used this for a little over a year now.

5 - Vitamin E Nite Cream from Body Shop - this is a good, heavy creamer to fix my skin as I sleep.  Check out this review if interested.  I have used this for probably about 4 years now.  

6 - Arbonne Re9 Eye Cream - I love a good eye cream.  I am always looking for something that works and this stuff is pretty good.  It is pretty expensive, but worth it.  I have used this for about a year now.  

Beauty is one of my passions in life. Whether it’s trying a new makeup look or doing my hair a different way, I love everything about it. Mostly it’s on myself, but I love to make others feel beautiful about themselves, as well.  Taking care of your body is so important and I’m all about living a beautiful, healthy, and happy life.  

Stop by my blog and please say hello!  I would love to meet you.  


Next, we have Bethany!
This girl has been supporting me, and I her, for quite some time. If blogging had grade levels, I would say we were in the same "class" when we met if that makes sense? I feel like we have learned some of the same things, and I'm glad that she put what I was thinking in to words. Not everything is black and white!

I used to think... that everything was black and white. 
Now I know... that there are shades of grey [50 to be exact - haha - jk]. Living in a society where everyone has differing opinions - no one can define "right" or "wrong". 
People see me as... a bubbly, outgoing, carefree girl who constantly suffers from word vomit. 
But, I hope that they know... I am unsure of myself, anxiety troubled, and terrified of the future.
  I blog because... it is a safe place to express myself without being [outwardly] criticized. If a blog friend, 2000 miles away, disagrees/argues with me it hurts a lot less than my best friends of 20 years. I can genuinely be myself on my blog and adore connecting with people from all over the world.
Blog // Twitter // Facebook
And last, but most certainly not least, we have Shane!
This girl has a BIG heart and you can see an amazing example here.
She needs your votes and you will actually win prizes if you participate!
I struggle... with a strained and virtually non-existent relationship with my father ever since I was 14.  The positive side of this is it has brought me extremely close to my mother.  I trust her with my life and am proud to call her my best friend.
People see me as... a perfectionist
But I hope that they know... I'm trying to learn to live with my flaws.
I blog because... I am a finance major and don't get an opportunity to express my creative side much, so Whispering Sweet Nothings is an outlet to do just that.
Blog || Facebook
I am seriously amazed by the honesty and inspiration that each woman has brought to the table for the last few weeks. Each one has meant the world to me, and I can't thank them enough. We would love to hear your stories, so sign up for next month and get your spot on my sidebar!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The J-O-B Reaveal

It happened y'all...
We reached 200 followers on Facebook, and do you know what that means?
I have to reveal my "job".

First of all, let me premise this by saying that I'm not sure that the blog world is ready for this.
However, I have no qualms about where I work or bringing home the gravy.
(Will says he brings home the bacon and I bring home the gravy)
The only reason that I have been apprehensive, is that this blog is my:


And I haven't been ready to test the waters and/or threaten my peaceful little blog.
Some amazing bloggers already know and are great supporters, so I hope that you will all take the news well, too. It's not that I will be offended if you don't approve, I just hope that you take your negativity elsewhere if you are so inclined. I don't judge any of you, so don't judge me.


Drum roll please....

Source: via Janna on Pinterest

But I'll tell you anyways.


But not just any Hooters girl...I got skillz.

These are at all our's kinda weird when ppl recognize me...not gonna lie lol
They thought it was kinda cool too :)

my girl!! rehearsal for the South Florida Finals!



No, I don't have to eat beans to go home...
No, our boobs do not have to touch the wall...
No, Hooters does not pay for boob jobs...
Yes, I have a college degree...
Yes, I make tons of money...
Yes, my husband is TOTALLY okay with me working here...
Yes, I will continue to milk this while I still look nineteen.

Do you have fun at your job? Cuz I do:

{This video has 16,000 views on two Youtube channels!}

I definitely feel like I just ripped a band-aid off.
I wasn't looking forward to it, but I'm glad it's over and off my CHEST. 
Pun intended.

Thank you in advance for your support, and for those of you that unfollow...I thank you too, because I don't need judgmental people as followers. Just bein' real!


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