Links I’m Loving

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1. Craving fast food? Employees share 13 items you should never order. (minq.com)

2. Watch Mariah Carey sing to Mariah Carey with James Cordon…all while in the car. (buzzfeed.com)

3. How to craft a better (and more colorful!) bookshelf. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

4. Ever wonder what 2,000 calories looks like? These pictures may shock you. (nytimes.com)

5. 19 Photos of women working, 100 years ago – so cool. (huffingtonpost.com)

6. Plenty of yummy Paleo chocolate chip cookie recipes – I may or may not have tried one of these last night and eaten two three. (paleogrubs.com)

7. This map highlighting the weirdest baby names in each state across the US of A will make you thankful for your normal name. (people.com)

Shameless Plug: Chocolate Soy Milk

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Okay, so I am a major fan of all things chocolate. Ask my husband and former roommates – chocolate is one of my main food groups. Naturally, I’ve always loved a cold glass of chocolate milk now and again but don’t always love the calorie count.

Well this week my husband and I decided to try our hand at going Paleo. Why? I have no idea, but something about being healthy and getting in great shape. But seriously, our Chick-fil-A visits and bi-weekly donut runs had gotten out of control. We headed to Kroger for all the Paleo essentials: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and two different types of soy milk (Simple Truth vanilla and chocolate) since you’re supposed to steer clear of dairy.

So by the time we got home I was craving ice cream OF COURSE, and so Taylor suggested a glass of chocolate soy milk. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too excited. Then I took a drink and you know what? It wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was pretty fantastic! Now I’m slightly obsessed with the chocolate soy milk – I had a glass at breakfast yesterday and this afternoon Taylor added it to our French Press for a nice mocha coffee treat.

So, to sum it all up, I was a hater on the soy milk until I tried it and now I’m telling everybody. Try it! It’s a healthy treat that tastes like you’re cheating. Not quite ice cream, but oh so close. xo

How To Throw An Epic Easter Egg Hunt

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Last Sunday Taylor and I hosted our first Easter Egg Hunt. We invited the whole church – kids of all ages, welcome – and were thrilled when we had such a great turn out! Throwing parties is one of my favorite pastimes but somehow I had never hosted an Easter Egg Hunt! After a little googling and conversations with Mom, I developed a game plan. Taylor was a huge help, especially with the manly things re: moving tables, getting ice, heavy lifting, etc. I loved filling the house with fresh flowers and only the best Easter-themed decorations. Thinking of throwing your own hunt this year? Here’s how in five oh-so-simple steps:

1. Deck the halls — One of the most exciting aspects of hosting an event is decorating accordingly, and I had the best time adding plenty of Spring touches to the house and yard. I brought a lot of fresh flowers in, showcased all kinds of Easter eggs in various bowls/vases, and made fun centerpieces for the food/drink tables. Decorating not your thing? Enlist the help of a good friend and watch your space be transformed for the occasion.

2. Hide lots of Easter Eggs — We asked each family to bring us one or two bags of filled eggs and we would hide them pre-party. We were floored by all the eggs we were given and we spent an hour or so hiding them – one section for the little ones, another for the 5 and up crowd. We hid three highly coveted golden eggs – one for the little ones and two for the older kids. It was the sweetest thing to watch the littlest one in his bow tie hand over his golden egg for his prize – a massive bunny he hugged for the rest of the afternoon.

3. Serve kid-friendly finger food (that adults will want to eat, too) — Of course the hunt is for the kids so make sure they’ll actually want to eat what you serve. Since our’s was in the afternoon we went with festive cupcakes, light sandwiches and assorted pasta salads – made complete with lemonade, fruit tea and since it was a tad chilly, coffee for the adults.

4. Play games — I wasn’t sure anyone would want to play games after hunting eggs and eating cupcakes but they were ready to go! My sweet husband refereed a competitive game of “Egg Toss” and we all had so much fun watching the kids attempt to toss the egg to their partner without dropping it.

5. Enjoy — Sure, you want to be the hostess with the mostest but don’t get so caught up in the hoopla (restocking food, checking the trash situation, taking photos like a mad woman) that you don’t get to spend time with your guests! Don’t worry about cleaning up – just enjoy talking and laughing with your friends. xo

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Six Things

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[ We found a local shop that tailors on the spot – genius ]

This past week was all about celebrating Taylor! His birthday was Friday so we did all of his favorite things: got fitted for a Spring suit at a local suit shop (with the sweetest tailors), had an amazing dinner at this adorable Italian place, went to see Insurgent (he had just finished the book) and spent Saturday golfing. I’m not really sure who won but we both had a great time – that’s all that matters anyways, right? On Sunday, we hosted our first Easter Egg Hunt for our church and it was so much fun! More about that coming tomorrow! xo

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[ Birthday candle in his chocolate tart ]

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[ Taking a stroll after dinner ]

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[ Golfing with this guy – I may or may not have thrown my club into a tree once ]

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[ Only the best cupcakes for the Easter Egg Hunt ]

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[ Exhausted after all the celebrating ]

Shameless Plug: Organic Lip Exfoliator

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I think it’s safe to say we’re all glad winter is on its way out! Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing in the snow and hibernating with the Hubs but I also don’t love the chapped lips, dry skin and extra 5-7 pounds that came along with the freezing temps. This weekend signifies the official start of Spring – PRAISE! – so to welcome in the new season I searched high and low for the perfect lip exfoliation. Burts Bees helps but dull, dry skin on the lips is inevitable, and not ideal for wearing bold lipstick…or kissing. (Real talk!)

Thank you, Amazon, for pulling through and introducing me to this Organic Lip Exfoliator for the easy cost of $13.75. Made with all natural ingredients – 100% cane sugar, shea butter and jojobo oil – this exfoliator smells like the perfect blend of citrus and mint, and tastes like a gumdrop! You apply a dime-sized amount to lips, rub in circular motions and rinse! That’s it. I try to use it every other day and now Taylor is using it nightly! xo

Six Things

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[ Glitter eggs? Yes please. ]

This past week was all about welcoming in Spring and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to open up all the windows! My husband wins extra cool points for watching The Bachelor finale with me and we had a good time providing commentary from start to finish. Poor Buddy had his dreaded “boy dog surgery,” as I’ve been calling it, so he needed some extra love for a couple days which we somehow managed to give. Taylor’s good friend and groomsman in our wedding stayed the weekend with us and so I cooked up some man food which is always a big hit. Their bromance game is strong so they had a good time hanging out, aka watching Anchorman 2 and playing guitar, and Buddy loved making another friend.

This week I’m looking forward to more weather like yesterday – how gorgeous was it outside? We soaked up the sun in our hammock and laughed at how just two weeks ago our yard was buried under 14 inches of snow! Have a great week, loves. xo

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[ Favorite belated wedding present that arrived last week ]

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[ Buddy in recovery mode ]

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[ The boys cooking up some amazing buffalo chicken dip ]

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[ Favorite bunny, ever ]

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[ Lazy Sunday with my favorite guys ]

Links I’m Loving

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1. I will definitely be making these for brunch very soon. (biscuitsandsuch.com)

2. The reason why I’ll be watching the Emmy’s this fall. (newyorktimes.com)

3. 15 foods you should never eat. Ever. (cosmopolitan.com)

4. Who knew Air Force One had all these features. Also, did anyone ever see that 90’s movie of the same name starrring Harrison Ford? It was once a favorite and now I’m itching to rewatch! (businessinsider.com)

5. I am loving this dress for spring. (nordstrom.com)

6. Kelli Kapowski spilled about Saved by the Bell and it made me oh so happy. (usweekly.com)

7. In honor of today being Friday the 13th (dun dun dun), here are 13 Netflix shows worth binge-watching. (relevant.com)

Shameless Plug: Savannah Smiles

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Girl Scout cookies, people! I had forgotten all about how amazing these little treats are and truth be told, I hadn’t seen any girl scouts selling the coveted green boxes in a few years. Where were all the thin mints? I had lost all hope.

On Saturday all that changed when Taylor and I were approached by the two cutest little scouts ever. Of course they did their cookie spill and we said, sure, we’ll take a couple boxes. Then in a matter of seconds, they had sweet-talked my husband into buying five boxes to then be entered into a drawing to win FIVE CASES of cookies. OY. One of the five boxes included a new(er) cookie, the Savannah Smile. How adorable is that name? It’s a lemon cookie lightly dusted with powdered sugar – need I say more?

I’m usually a chocolate person but I suddenly only craved that perfectly tart lemon goodness! We finished the box in three days – THAT is how good they are. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to learn they aren’t too high in calorie count for a cookie so all the more reason to support the girl scouts! To find out where you can pick up your five boxes, go here. xo

P.S. All this cookie talk makes me want to watch one of my all-time favorites, Troop Beverly Hills.

Six Things

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[ Walking in the snow with my love ]

I never would have dreamed we would have been snowed in, again, but last Wed-Fri we were barely able to shovel our way out of the driveway. (Talk about a work out!) The predicted 2-4 inches somehow grew to 14 and so we did what any normal couple would do…took walks in the snow, snowboarded in our backyard and made plenty of snow cream. We had our fun but now we’re ready for warmer temperatures hopefully coming this week! I bought a new sundress that I would love to wear when we host our first ever Easter egg hunt in a couple weeks, so bye bye snow. Have a great week! xo

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[ Healthier version of our favorite breakfast ]

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[ I had a little trouble getting back up after each run…oops ]

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[ The professional ]

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[ Snow bunnies ]

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[ Nothing better than nap time with these two ]

 

How To Create a Cozy Guest Room

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We’ve had some friends and family in town since we made the move after the wedding, but this past weekend we hosted our first “couple friends” so naturally I wanted a cozy space for them to enjoy during their stay. Truth be told, the guest room had served as a bit of a catch-all while working on the rest of the house, so it felt good to get everything organized and in its place. I’ve watched Mom pull together many a gorgeous guest room and I’m happy to report I picked up a trick or two.

Make The Bed An Oasis 

We added fresh sheets, an oversized bedspread and more than enough pillows to amp up the comfy factor. You never know how many pillows your guests like to sleep with, so it’s nice to have more just in case.

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Beside Lighting

We placed my favorite bedside tables on either side and added matching lamps (found at WalMart!) to give the room a little height.

Incorporate Artwork 

Taylor helped me clean up a vintage print that was in storage here when we moved in, and it looks perfect as a focal point for the room above the headboard. We also added a couple smaller prints (one is a framed wedding card that I adore) to make the vintage make-up table more inviting.

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Fresh Flowers 

I love a small bouquet of whatever’s in season, and this is the sweetest way to make guests feel extra special. Plus, they smell amazing!

Closet Space

We’re guilty of storing random items in the guest room closet – i.e. suitcases, old suitcases, gift bags, etc. – but we managed to situate it all so there was plenty of room for our guests to hang up whatever they might need to.

Add A Chair

My mom has always preached that every room needs a chair and it’s true, you don’t always want to sit on the bed especially when you’re getting ready for the day. We added a small one, comfortable enough to sit in but functional enough to throw a suitcase on top.

Bathroom Essentials

I always forget something when I travel, usually toothpaste, so I like to have a small basket full of little toiletries on hand for guests to use as needed. I also make sure to have fresh towels and hand towels out in the bathroom so guests can easily grab one.

Reading Material

Just in case a guest wants to wind down with a good magazine before bed, I like to have a few in the room. Also, I love magazines and suppose my friends do, too.

Some items I plan on incorporating into our guest room include a mini framed wifi password, a clock, small rug and more colorful curtains than the antique white ones we have now. How do you make your guest room extra cozy for your guests? I’d love to hear. xo