I just couldn’t let Friday pass without stopping by to say hi! And to share a few of my favorite internet finds from the week!

Behold….a bunch of guys attempt to do their girlfriends’ makeup.

I giggled. A lot. Reminds me of the many times I have asked Andrew to comb my hair (because who doesn’t love that??) and he holds the brush like a toddler trying to understand how to use a fork for the first time.

This Raspberry-Mango Sangria recipe…summer, please!!

Raspberry-Mango Sangria

Kid President’s open letter to babies on their first day on Earth. Makes my soul smile!

Have a wonderful Friday and an incredible weekend!

LifeSkills

I’m Cassie from cassie cares, and I’m honored to be a part of Hayley’s Top Ten Tuesday feature. In writing this I wanted to give her readers something that I think all of us are trying to achieve: the opportunity to learn from one another. Lifestyle blogging is all about mastering a skill (gracefully or otherwise) and then sharing our inspiration and process with all of you. I thought about listing my favorite DIY projects or beauty products, but I don’t think those things are the most important part of what we do. It’s looking back and realizing how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve learned.

So for my list I’m sharing my Top Ten Life-Skills that Will Save Your Butt Someday, which hopefully helps us all in both the blogosphere and the real world.

Here goes.

10. Driving in the Snow

There may be a time in your life where you really wish you paid attention in the “winter driving” portion of Driver’s Ed. That time may arise when your Prius is stuck in a snow bank and you’re trying your best not to say “I told you so” in the freezing cold storms of a mountain pass.

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Joking aside, knowing how to navigate snowy terrain could save your life someday, and applying this knowledge can prevent very serious accidents. Pay attention, slow down, and stay safe.

9. Basic Car Maintenance

When I was 17 a mechanic tried to sell me a $50 air filter after showing me how dirty mine was. I let him talk, then squeaked a polite “no thank you.” Filters are cheap, and take about one minute to change. You should how to do this, and while you’re at it, learn where your fuse box is, and where your car’s starter is located. Know how to jump start your car. Know what not to touch. I’m not saying change your own brakes, but you can save a lot of money by knowing something about your car. These very basic car skills could prevent you from getting stranded someday, especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere and AAA can’t save you.

8. Doing “Future You” a Favor

Yes, you need that $89 rug and your bedroom floor is totally bare without it. But Future-You could use that $89. One of the problems with impulse-purchases is that it neglects our future selves. Present-You can’t live without it? Split it with Future-You. Get in the habit of setting yourself up for success, and guess what? You’ll be successful.

7. Staying Calm in a Crisis

There will be times (a wedding, a car accident, a busy day at work) where a level head will positively influence what happens next. Separate your emotions from the task at hand, and you will learn that you are capable of a lot more than you think.

6. Mastering One Good Meal

Having last-minute guests coming over? Good thing you taught yourself an awesome meal that you can whip up in a hurry. It can really make guests feel welcome, and knowing one impressive dish can give whomever it is (your in-laws, your boss, your sister’s new boyfriend) something good to remember about you.

5. Squashing Insecurity

Sometimes the only person standing in your way is you. Your bad attitude, your fear, your insecurity. Ignore the haters (especially when you’re the haters) and you will open yourself up to so many opportunities.

4. Basic DIY, Home Maintenance, and Power Tools

If you don’t know where your fuse box is, or how to check your pilot, you have a problem. If you don’t know how to find studs or use a drill, a saw, or a paint roller, you are dooming yourself to a life of paying others to do very easy work. Master these skills. Future-You will thank you.

3. Writing the Perfect Hand-Written Note

I like to keep nice stationery handy because a sweet little poem or note can take a gift to a whole new level. A sincere thank-you note can get you the job. A simple “thinking of you” can change someone’s day. Get pretty cardstock, a solid pen, and be honest in your writing. That’s it.

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 2. Speaking Up

When you know something’s not right, say so. If you’re being skipped over at work, or a doctor isn’t listening to your concerns, speak up.  Yes, sometimes it’s scary, but you can save your own life by expressing yourself. Do it. (Refer to numbers 5; 7; and 8)

1. Looking at What Things Could Be (Not Just What They Are).

With a little elbow grease, a Craigslist find could be your favorite possession.

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A job that pays slightly less could open so many doors for you. Look at the possibilities. Look for pins, look for blog posts, look for ideas. You can amaze yourself by realizing the potential in your home, your relationships, and yourself.

As always-

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Sometimes, living in the middle of America, feels a bit stifling. Don’t get me wrong, I love my city (although I hate the weather about half of the year) and I can’t imagine living anywhere else…but all of the action seems to be happening…everywhere else.

In late December, I decided that 2014 would be my year of “firsts” – I want to really explore everything that my humble city has to offer.

So…when I was invited to be a VIP guest at Omaha’s Fashion Week, I was thrilled!

I attended the Designer Showcase last Friday night which was featuring the F/W 14 Collections by Lenzanita, Elle’ Inspired, Hannah Caroline Couture, Wallflower, Crystal Hobson and Margie Trembley.

The whole experience was incredible. While, I don’t pretend to understand fashion (I just wear whatever looks good & feels good) I do believe I have an eye for culture, beauty and details. This event had all of that and more!

The venue, the Omar building, was exquisite and the decorations were impeccable. The whole thing from beginning to end oozed with class, sophistication and style. It’s been a week and I am still glowing from the whole experience!

My husband thought, that maybe, he was not the best date for such an event (aka, he would have been booooorrrred) so I brought along my friend, Jeremy – we had a blast.

Here are some of the pictures of our night!

The decor.

Omaha Fashion Week Decorations

My pick for best dressed attendee. Obviously, Jeremy was a close second!

My Picks for Best Dressed

Some showtime selfies…obviously.

Omaha Fashion Week 3

Oh, and I can’t forget the thrill of watching the show. These are two of my favorites from the night!

Watching The Show

Can’t wait for the next one!

Love Is

Sometimes…when I’m feeling especially nostalgic (and maybe a tad bit masochistic) I will dive into my book shelf of personal journals, opening & reading the very first one my hands make contact with.

Usually it’s in the middle of the night, when sleep escapes me and I feel an absolute necessity to remember where I’ve been, who I’ve been and who others have been to me. I will sit in too little light, with too little blankets and bury myself in my words. Sometimes it’s wonderful, sometimes it is an emotional beating of the worst kind…most of the time it is both.

Tonight while I was reading a journal from my Freshman year of college…brutally reliving all of my heartbreak and awkwardness….I found myself paused at an almost desperate sentence scrawled at the bottom of an unfinished entry.

“I just want to be in love so I don’t have to hurt anymore.”  

LOL.

I read the sentence twice before the giggles began bubbling up. I laughed and laughed….and laughed. Alone, in an empty living room. I was absolutely certain I had gone crazy, I mean, really there was nothing funny about this desperately sad, younger version of myself.

The naivety behind that 19-year-old’s belief that love solved everything…I found that entertaining and I guess, a little bit endearing. I was stuck between wanting to go back in time and let her know that she was wrong (as she was about MOST things at that age) and at the same time wishing I could soak myself in that same naivety.

Now, of course, I know…love is not the absence of pain. In fact, even at it’s best, it can be one of the most abundant source. It’s important and it’s fragile and it’s so utterly out of our control…

And yet, so many of us expect love to save us and when it doesn’t we think we must try again, with someone else, somewhere else, at some other time.

It won’t save you, not ever.

The truth is, love – the real kind – will break your heart into tiny pieces and then it will put your heart neatly back together just to do it again, it’s devastating and it’s hard — it is really, really hard.

Sorry this is dark & heavy…but love is dark & heavy. It’s also light & courage & passion & comfort & warmth. It’s worth it. And if it sounds like I’m contradicting myself that’s because love is a contradiction, a battle, a storm…that knowledge – that’s what will save you.

Love is absolute certainty that you would want to die if they died…but also the certainty that you would get out of bed every single morning, and brush your hair and make your coffee and smile at least three times for the sake of their spirit watching over you.

When Hayley contacted me to guest post on her blog, I was so insanely excited, and a little nervous. I love Hayley’s blog and I wanted to do a really great job in her new series idea!

My name is Kristan, I blog over at Lavender & Light, and I hope you enjoy reading this today!

My theme was to come up with a top ten… And seriously you guys, top tens are endless. And hard! I didn’t realize how hard it would be to come up with a topic… I have top tens of almost everything, ever!

So, I ended up creating a tried and true top ten for you. Yes, it has to do with Pinterest. But even better… I am giving you my top tens pins I’ve found, that I’ve actually done.

Awhile back, I created a board of pins that I had found, completed, and yes, that even means my Pinterest fails.

Here are my top ten awesome things I’ve done from Pinterest… Make sure you find me on Pinterest, I love new Pinner-friends!

This Sweet Potato Chili was on heavy, heavy rotation in our house this winter,
and the leftovers were almost better than the night of making it!

 

I found this and did this and it was the easiest, most inexpensive way to give my phone a makeover!

 

I took inspiration from this bathroom and repainted our old and gross vanity with a very dark brown. It looks like a brand new vanity now!
I found this photo and used it as inspiration for my dad’s 50th birthday!
This potato and smoked sausage casserole may not look like much,
but it was super duper husband approved and so easy to make!
Apple pie crumble… Need I say more?
I found this photo and bought extra tall mason jars to store flour and sugar on.
I get so many compliments on my easy and fun storage solution!
Done, and although it didn’t look as good as this, I still loved it!
One Pot? Heck yes! In fact, I made this again tonight for dinner!
Okay, picture of a tater tot? Take my word for it.
This “Cowboy Casserole” is one my husbands favorites.
Thank you for reading and looking at my top ten!
If you get a moment, come on over and say hi to me at my blog, Lavender & Light.
A huge thank you to Hayley for hosting me today!
-Kristan

Makeup Tutorial

Well, this is it. My very first video tutorial. It didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked…some technical difficulties (the recording stopped about 8 minutes before I was done), some cringe-worthy moments (do I really sound like that??), and some first timer mistakes (okay, a lot of first timer mistakes-couldn’t make myself look into the camera, pronouncing things wrong, be an all around goofball) but…I did it!! Can I just say…there is nothing more humbling than seeing an extremely well lit, makeup free version of your face in HD. I digress.

I love, love, LOVE this look and I was so excited to share it with you! It is SO simple and I think an incredibly flattering look for anyone who wants to give it a try!

Here are just a few more looks at the finished product!

Every Day Makeup Tutorial

Makeup Tutorial for an Every Day Face

And as I previously alluded to…the end of the tutorial was cut off, but you got most of the important stuff! A list of the products I used can be found below the video. Again, I am SO sorry the video got cut off at the end. Rookie mistake! All you missed after the Watt’s Up was me applying the mascara!

Okay, enjoy!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Clinique Hydro Surge CC Cream in Medium
Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation
The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer
 Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in Passion
Lorac Shadow Primer
 Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero
Benefit They’re Real Mascara
Anastasia Brow Genius Kit

 

Spring To Do List

I know what you’re thinking. I live in Omaha…it’s 20 degrees out…and I am still chattering on about Spring.

The truth is…I think I’m obsessed. It’s all I can think about!!

And so, in an attempt to tide myself over until snow turns to rain and we break out the flip flops…I have been compiling a to-do list of sorts. Consider it a celebration of leaving winter behind!

1. Get a blowout. I have never had one! And it just so happens….an adorable blow dry salon called Lark opened up recently in Omaha, so…I think it’s time. I’ve gathered the following for my inspiration!

Blowout Inspiration

Right (image via Fitness)
Middle (image via They All Hate Us)
Left (image source unknown)

2. Get a ridiculously spring worthy manicure! The last time I spent money on a manicure was before my wedding…8 months ago. I think I’ve earned one. I have my sights set on both of these!

Nude_and_teal_French_manicure

metallic manicure

 

3. Splurge on an adorable pair of pajamas! I think pj’s and nighties are pretty much my favorite thing article of clothing to buy and wear on the planet. Always cute, usually flattering and definitely comfortable! The entrance of warmer weather means I can put the sweats and over sized hoodies away and start bopping around the house in something my husband actually wants to see me in! These are a few potentials!

Cute & Sexy Pajama Inspiration

 All images (via Shopbop)

4. Prep my “first day it’s warm I am totally going to wear this” outfit. Am I the only one that does this? It doesn’t matter what season I am in…I always have the perfect outfit for the next season. I haven’t sorted out the specifics yet…but I’m using these as inspiration.

Spring Fashion Inspiration

Left (image via Fashion World)
Middle (image source unknown)
Right (Image via Laurenconrad.com & Lucky Magazine)

5. Make this for dinnerGrilling out is pretty much the best thing ever.

grilled-salmon-kabobs

6. Try out this makeup tutorial. It would look great with a little sun on my cheeks!

7. Create the perfect spring/summer playlist! This is the one I jammed to last year!

What’s on your spring to-do list??

 

needed to have a really good weekend.

This winter has been plagued with illness, bad news, loss and some strained relationships…and despite my best efforts to “go with the flow”…I have to admit that lately…I’ve been feeling a bit blue.

So, when I found out about the “Beerfest” event, I decided to purchase Andrew and I tickets on a whim. The idea of doing something totally different from our regular routine seemed like a refreshing idea.

We had so. much. fun. Andrew, unfortunately, was on call at work so he couldn’t taste test the beers, but I think he enjoyed the people watching. I was feeling adventurous and tried a plethora of uniquely brewed beers (spread out between lots of bread and water!) Some were sweet & rich, some spicy and odd…and some classicly “beer like”. It was just the adventure and distraction I needed to get out of my head and out of my funk!

In addition to our beer fest adventure, we found time for some couple work out time, we tried out a new chili recipe, I even found time for a Sunday afternoon nap, and we *gasp* finished our Entourage marathon. Now Andrew is feeling blue! 😉

The picture update is below, have a terrific week!!

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I was feeling less than ideal heading into the weekend. Very sick! My lovely husband picked me up the essentials and a little surprise. <3

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Spent Saturday morning blogging, listening to incredibly good music, sipping on coffee and painting my nails. 🙂

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Beer fest preparation.

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Lots of fun at Beer Fest!

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Sunday Selfie. Still learning to love my “less is more” makeup approach. And wondering WHEN my eye will be back to normal.

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Found the perfect spot for my orchid!

Happy Friday!!

As a relatively new blogger, I am just now understanding the value in “link-ups”! A little extra traffic and a lot of new friends!

So, let’s celebrate this Friday with a quick post and link-up with one of my new favorite gals…Holly from Hey, Hollywood!

…is perpetually doing 15 things at once. Even on the couch…books, magazines laptop, cell phone, Vampire Diaries. And I’m conquering them all. At. The. Same. Time.

…bakes better than I cook.

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…takes selfies, daily. I agree with Claire & Clueless. Mirrors lie. Plus, I don’t believe in selfie shaming…as a matter of fact I make it my mission to LIKE every selfie I might come across.

1937643_10102020681894229_301832827_o(selfie from this week)

….would rather be at the beach, always.

…reads the same book 89 times. Especially this one…

…jumps, no leaps , to the worst possible scenario/conclusion in any given situation. My husbands isn’t answering the phone? He’s dead. My friend isn’t responding to my text? She hates me. I gained 3 lbs this weekend? This is the beginning of my uncontrollable obesity spiral. It’s exhausting.

…believes cleaning & laundry to be extremely affordable therapy.

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…hates running but love, looove, loooooveeesss the endorphins.

…goes to Sephora just to be amongst all of the finest products in beauty. Beauty nerd.

…puts on perfume before bed.

…is the kind of gal who attracts weird people, strange experiences and there is always an accident or illness looming close by!

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(me, in a sling, on our honeymoon)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

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It’s about that time….when I get antsy for spring. I’m sick of jeans and boots and the whole ORDEAL of getting dressed for a winter day and quite frankly, I could use a tan. I look ill.

I long for flip flops, open windows, patio hopping, Summer Shandy, golf outings with my man and, of course, the smell of fresh cut grass everywhere.

Of course, days like today (it was 60 degrees!) only encourage my spring-time daydreams. But, a look at the 10-day forecast as confirmed my suspicions…we have a ways to go.

So, those of you who are winter whining as well…please bare with me…as all of the things I am “loving lately” are very spring/summer like! And those of you who live in a perpetually summer-like climate…just know, I’m bitter.

1. Favorite Lip Color

Perfect Spring Lip Color

Revlon’s Just Bitten Lip Stain is my favorite drugstore find and “Smitten” my favorite shade (pictured above).

It stays on ALL DAY. I mean….all day, you will literally have to remove it at the end of the day if you want it off! 🙂

I just freshen it up with some gloss or chap-stick throughout the day and the color remains fresh and vibrant.

2. Lauren Conrad’s Spring Collection

Lauren Conrad Spring Collection

As if the clothes were not perfect amounts of feminine and fashionable…but then she has to go put a tennis court in the photo shoot…with PINK TENNIS BALLS.

I adore her...and as expected this collection is superb!

3. Favorite Band

American Authors Believer

If you haven’t heard Best Day of My Life yet…then you obviously don’t know what happiness feels like! 😉 Perfect song to wake up to in the morning!

The good news…American Authors is not a one hit wonder!

Their EP is filled with the same uplifting, fast paced songs and their first full length album is expected on March 4th!

Here is my current favorite of theirs! “Believer”

4. Embracing my Face!

No Makeup Look

Due to a some ridiculous eye issues (that just won’t quit) I have been forced to go out into the world bare-eyed.

To be embarrassingly honest…at first, I didn’t want to leave the house. But now….I think I’m starting to like it! As a matter of fact…I think I am going to be sporting the “less is more” look A LOT this spring/summer.

There is something appealing about a fresh faced look…there is also something appealing about the time it saves me in the morning!!

So, be looking for a lot more makeup tutorials for this kind of look!

5. Predicting this to be my go-to summer drink!

Moscato Strawberry Lemonade

The VERY FIRST day it is warm enough…my friends and I will be sitting on my patio drinking this!

My mouth is quite literally watering at the idea of it…and of course the idea of sunshine…REAL, WARM sunshine!

6. A Little “Thinspiration”

Swimsuits

I can’t stop…shopping for swimsuits!

I declared to friends and family that I want to be 127 lbs by my 27th birthday.

I will not divulge exactly how many lbs are needing to be lost between now and then….but it is certainly a reasonable goal. In an effort to keep my eye on the prize I have been starting…and ending my day…with a little online swimsuit shopping. Not sure if its helping me lose the weight or just all of my money…but, time will tell!

You can find these swimsuits here & here!

 

 

 

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