Links I’m Loving

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1. A photographer set out to capture beauty around the world and the images are stunning. (cnn.com)

2. How exercise can make you happy – in just 20 minutes. (self.com)

3. If you’re an Amazon shopper – and why shouldn’t you be? – you need to know this stuff. (buzzfeed.com)

4. Throwing an Oscars party Sunday night? Make it interesting by asking guests to make predictions using these nifty ballots. (glitterguide.com)

5. Do you want to build a snowman? Here are 40 oh so creative ideas. (buzzfeed.com)

6. This one is for the women afraid of commitment. (theeverygirl.com)

7. Would you say you treat yourself well? Great article with simple steps to self-love. (darlingmagazine.com)

Shameless Plug: Lush Charity Pot

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I’ve always been a fan of Lush and their vast array of brilliant, all-natural beauty products but I became a Lush advocate when I bought my very own Charity Pot. I needed some body lotion that would cure my dry, winter skin that we’re all unfortunately experiencing so when I took a whiff of this stuff while in the store one day I was all in. It’s a very light, floral scent – think rosewood, not dead roses – and goes on skin smooth without any sticky or oily residue. Great product found – WIN.

But it gets better. With every purchase of Charity Pot, Lush donates 100% of the price to small, grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights all around the globe. So basically you end up with velvety, beautiful skin AND you’re doing a world of good with every pot purchased – NICELY DONE!

To purchase your own Charity Pot go here. Trust me, your winter skin will thank you!

Stay warm, lovelies. xo

Six Things

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[ Who doesn’t love iced teacakes with sprinkles? ]

This past week was filled with lots of love and oh how sweet it was! In an effort to share the love, we whipped up several batches of cookies and surprised some members from church. We had so much fun together and don’t worry, we ate plenty of cookies in the process! Friday night we went on a movie date to see Kingsman, Taylor’s pick, and it was a fun film that paired well with our giant popcorn. It was our first Valentine’s Day together so we did it right, complete with little surprises for each other throughout the day, watching classic rom-coms, and making a fancy dinner for two to top it all off! I never dreamed it was possible to be this happy – God knows what he’s doing, doesn’t He? This week is all about that SNOW, and snow we have! We have about eight or nine inches now and I haven’t seen my husband all day because he’s enjoying putting his snowboard to good use in our backyard. Have a great week and stay warm! xo

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[ We met our vet’s pet pig, Mabel ]

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[ Pink cookie batter makes the best cookies ]

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[ A little Spring in our living room ]

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[ The menu: filet mignon, french garlic green beans and chocolate mousse for dessert ]

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[ People listen to the weather man here, clearly ]

What Women Really Want For Valentine’s Day

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My husband and friends know that I’m a hopeless romantic. I love anything sentimental and yes, sappy – throw in a bouqet of fresh flowers and anything containing dark chocolate and I’m head over heels. While not every woman cares about flowers or a love letter from their other half, I dare say there are some not-so-simple things women everywhere desperately want on every day that ends with “Y.” Some are need-to-haves and some are nice-to-haves but rest assure, boyfriends/husbands/secret admirers do one or all of the above and you’re guarenteed to have your best Valentine’s Day ever. Curious? Let’s get started.

Women want to be pursued. 

Women want to laugh. 

Women want you to unplug and be present while you’re with them.

Women want to know you’re happiest when you’re with them.

Women want to know you think about them when you’re apart.

Women want to feel beautiful. 

Women want to hear how much you care about them.

Women want to be hugged and kissed, just because. 

Women want to feel valued and appreciated. 

Women want to feel safe and protected. 

Women want you to keep on “wooing” them.

Ladies, what did I miss? I’d love to hear what you really want, and then maybe let your guy in on our list. As for Valentine’s Day, whether your celebrating with your man or your best girl friends, be sure to treat yo’ self and tell those you love just how much you LOVE them! That is the point of the holiday, after all. xo

Links I’m Loving

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1. Turns out everyone can sing. (theatlantic.com)

2. 10 secrets from couples married a very long time. (today.com)

3. These genius valentines have me wishing I had found these before I raided Target. (hellogiggles.com)

4. Not satisfied with your current job but not sure how to find something better? This hiring expert might just help! (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

5. Brian Williams and the ugly allure of embellishing the truth. (relevant.com)

6. The average American spends $134 on their Valentine so clearly we’re investing in gifts that will outlive flowers and chocolate. Here are some fun gift ideas for all the loves in your life. (theverge.com)

7. Take a look into the gorgeous home of Jesse Baylin and her rockstar husband. (gardenandgun.com)

Shameless Plug: HitchSwitch

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I’ve decided to start a series every Tuesday not so cleverly titled, Shameless Plug. Each week I will feature one item that I adore because it makes my life easier and for the overarching fact that I adore it. Who knows, maybe you’ll be needing something similar and will become a believer after reading each week!

To start us off, I would like to let all my engaged/recent newlywed ladies in on a little secret: HitchSwitch. Upon getting married the one thing I dreaded more than unpacking was the one thing my married girlfriends warned me would be the worst – officially changing my name. They warned me about the lines, the fees, the waiting for paperwork only to then wait for more paperwork.

Well thanks to The Knot, I found the most genius company that for a ridiculously small fee they do all the grunt work and send you a chic folder with every document you need to sign to reflect your married name. They even include stamped envelopes, detailed directions and colored tabs indicating where to sign and date. Thanks to HitchSwitch and a cup of coffee – after all, paperwork is still paperwork – I was able to take care of everything from social security to a new passport and photo. Also, I’m registered to vote now as Katie Powell Bell. BOOM! I cannot sing their praises enough and I highly recommend you checking them out if you find yourself newly married OR looking to give a one-of-a-kind wedding present (they have gift cards)!

Alright, now I’m off to yoga and then to bake some sweet Valentine’s treats for some sweet friends…if my husband doesn’t eat them all first! xo

Six Things

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[ the welcome wagon at the Powell home ]

This past week we enjoyed staying at my parents’ so Taylor could attend the lectureships at our alma mater. I snuck on campus for one very special lecture – Dad’s – and it was so nice to be able to hear him, even if it was bright and early. We loved spending some quality time with my parents and I am beyond thankful that my husband loves his in-laws and they him! We also got the chance to see friends and catch a movie (very impressed, Bradley Cooper) in between work and the lectureships. Amongst all the craziness, my favorite moments were spent lounging on the big leather couch in the living room laughing and drinking hot chocolate with my family – it’s the little moments that stick with us the most! This week is all about showering my love with LOVE as we gear up for Valentine’s Day this weekend. How are you showing those you love the most how much you love them this week? xo

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[ somebody enjoyed his hot chocolate with cinnamon and cream ]

20150207_151214[ my husband’s birthday present arrived a little early ]

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[ he has officially mastered “sit” ]

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[ nothing better than some sunshine and these two]

February Excitement

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When it’s 30 degrees outside basically every day of the month there have to be happenings to plan for and look forward to. Am I right? Here are just a few of happenings this month that I’m pumped about -

8 – The Grammy’s

Oh how I love watching all the fashion faux pas AND I just heard that Beyonce is performing so I’m IN.

14 – Valentine’s Day!!!!

I have always loved this national holiday of LOVE, what with all of its chocolate and fresh flowers! Of course I will be embracing all the cheese with my main squeeze!

16 – President’s Day

What’s not to love about a three-day weekend?

20 – National Pet Day

Be sure to shower your pet with love or hey, what a perfect day to pick up an adorable ball of fur!

22 – The Oscars

I’m watching just to see my girl Reese Witherspoon. Oh, and Meryl, of course. Who are you pulling for?

xo

Links I’m Loving

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1. I have always loved Will Ferrell but this has kept me laughing all week. (buzzfeed.com)

2. From Clueless to Mean Girls to Bring It On, these bedrooms from classic movies defined our teenage years. Who didn’t want Cher’s closet? (huffingtonpost.com)

3. Needing some Valentine’s Day inspiration? Here’s a fun DIY that’s perfect for all the loves of your life. (jonesdesigncompany.com)

4. You’re going to FLIP when you read how much Katy Perry’s SuperBowl outfits cost. (usatoday.com)

5. The one word that can improve your self-confidence and yes, it may shock you. (self.com)

6. I’m currently obsessing over this menu hacks website – hello, Chick fil A nuggets and polynesian sauce! (hackthemenu.com)

7. 37 things dying people say they regret. (viralnova.com)

Six Things

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[ The cutest yogi ]

Hello and happy February to you! This past week we made a point to work on a couple of our new years resolutions: to explore our new town and to properly train Buddy. Taylor and I finally made it to see Into the Woods which was made all the more fun because Taylor played the part of Jack when he was in 8th grade and yes, it all came back to him after hearing the music. We then found a quaint coffee shop in the art district which funnily enough turned out to be filled with hipsters snapping for a poetry reading. We had a good laugh and enjoyed the hot chocolate, which was excellent. As for training Buddy, my husband is such a pro and I give him all the credit for Buddy being able to sit, stay and shake. They’re adorable and so much fun. Did you watch the Super Bowl last night? We watched Katy Perry – Lenny Kravitz for the win – and then the last eight or so minutes…what a game! I wonder if Gisele made Tom a celebratory stack of waffles this morning? Have a great week! xo

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[ Fresh blooms and Essie’s Sugar Daddy setting the mood for February ]

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[ Date night ]

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[ Walking around the art district with this handsome guy ]

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[ Saturday morning waffle stack ]

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[ Pre-gaming gets wild at our house ]