Wednesday, July 29, 2015

For Leslie


My heart hurts today.  

On Monday, one very special blogger friend left this earth.  Leslie Sisti, from A Blonde Ambition, passed away from complications of a rare congenital heart defect.  She has been battling with her health since February and I was shocked to hear the news of her passing yesterday.  I am just so, so sad for her husband, Stephen, and their two daughters under 2 years old: Caroline and Ainsley.
 
It's funny how you can really, truly get to know someone just through the internet.  Reading Leslie's blog was always a bright spot in my day because her personality really shined through her words.  Her sweet spirit and love for her family, friends and readers were evident just by reading one post.  She will be dearly missed here in blogland, so I can only imagine the amount of heartache that her family and friends are experiencing right now.

Especially as someone who has lost her mother, my heart breaks for her two girls.  While they are too young to understand what is happening, they have just lost the most important person in their life.  The fact that they won't remember their time with her is so hard to process.  But, how amazing that they can "get to know" their mother through her blog, right?  Blogging is such a crazy thing and it's pretty special that they will always be able to come back to read her words and feel her love for them through her writing.

She was a beautiful person - inside and out - and will be so missed.  There is a fund set up for her young daughters, raising money for their future college educations and weddings.  If you like to donate, click HERE.  And please just pray for this family.  These next few weeks will be full of unimaginable pain and sadness and I pray that they feel God's comfort and closeness during this time. 

Despite my post yesterday, complaining about blogging, I seriously love blogging.  For the friendships especially.  I have met so many wonderful women through this community and I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate you.  I wish I could give each of you a big hug today.

So go home and hold your loved ones a little closer today.  Life is so precious.   

Thank you for keeping the Sisti family in your thoughts and prayers.  Xoxo,   

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Randomness

Greetings from blogger slacker-land... anyone else?  Something about the middle of the summer seems to through me off my blogging game but I have a feeling I'm not the only one.  And that's okay - we should be out soaking up our summer!  Sleeping in, eating ice cream for lunch, only taking our swimsuits off to wash them - that's the good stuff and I want to enjoy it for the month we have left (so sad).

Anyway, today I've just got some randomness to throw your way...

Yesterday was our two year anniversary!  I'm so thankful for every day that I get to spend with my best friend, partner in crime and better half and I can't wait to see what the next 50 years have in store for us.  To celebrate, we did dinner and stuck with the traditional gifts - cotton for two years - but I'll have a separate post coming on that soon :)

Wedding recap posts

How gorgeous is this pearl blossom statement necklace (on sale right now!) from The Happiness Boutique?  It just came in and I have a feeling it's one I'm going to wear nonstop- it'll go with everything from cocktail dresses to even dressing up a flannel shirt this fall.  Make sure to check out The Happiness Boutique in general because they offer super reasonable prices, free shipping and even have a customer reward program.  Doesn't get much better than that. 


Speaking of shopping, this gorgeous Michael Kors trench coat is on it's way to me right now - thanks to Kate for the recommendation!  I had to order it online in the petite size since I'm a shorty at 5'3" but it's so well made and I love the classic khaki color.


This past Saturday, my beautiful friend Alex got married :) It was such a great night celebrating her and Mark and we all couldn't be happier for the two of them as they start their life together.  You know it was an amazing night when you realize the next morning that we didn't even get one decent picture of all of us!

My stand-in date while Nick was at his best friends bachelor party!

On Sunday, I headed back to Holland for a BBQ and to see the Marshall Tucker Band with my family.  Despite only knowing like two of the MTB songs, it was still a fun concert and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for the outdoor seating.  


This pup.  Thank goodness he doesn't mind car rides cause we've been carting him all over the entire state of Michigan this summer.  My car on the other hand... the all black interior can't quite handle all of the blonde fur EVERYWHERE!


My blogging duties are done for the day - back to the ice cream ;) Happy Tuesday!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday's Five

Another Friday, another crazy weekend ahead!  This time I'm heading to a friends wedding in Detroit while Nick is off to his best friends bachelor party weekend at the lake.  We'll be meeting up on Sunday night in Holland to see the Marshall Tucker Band in concert with my family and then Monday is our anniversary (!!) so don't be surprised if I don't show back up here until Tuesday! :)  

Here's what we've been up to this week...  

+ Gardening
Nothing like waiting til the end of July to plant our gardens, right?  Procrastination at it's finest but at least we finally did (some of) it.  I'm literally clueless about this stuff - all I want to do is plant a bunch of hydrangea bushes but I hear they're bad for dogs and we all know our dog can't control himself from eating anything and everything sooo there's that.


+ Lemon Blueberry Bread
We had a bunch of leftover blueberries so I found this recipe thanks to trusty Pinterest and whipped it up.  And then it was gone 48 hours later because it's that delicious.  I think the lemon icing glaze really makes it!


+ The Bachelorette
SO excited for the season finale!  I think she's going to pick Sean.. what do you guys think?  I like him but I wish he hadn't been such a big baby all season about Nick.  And Ben H better be the next bachelor.  Actually I'd take Ben Z, too ;)

+ Birthday Gifts
I finally redeemed my birthday gift from Nick on Thursday - a facial and 90 minute massage.  This was my first ever massage and it was pretty amazing.  I was so relaxed afterwards and may have even taken a quick nap when I got home!


+ Holy City Chic
I always love to share when I find a new blog crush and this week it's Holy City Chic!  She's super cute, lives in Charleston (sold right there) and I like how her blog reads like you're just having a convo with a friend.  

Now I'm off to coral my dog, his crate and like 15 packed bags into the car and head out of town (again).  Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Better Eyelashes with Strong Lash


You guys know how much I love good eyelashes.  I don't really wear eyeshadow or too much eyeliner so I really count on my eyelashes to make the statement.  I swear by this great primer and mascara but was looking to take things up a notch... possibly by trying extensions.  I was just about to make an appointment when a Strong Lash representative reached out and offered to let me try the product.  I had to think about that offer for a whole 2 seconds... umm, yes!  

I've used Strong Lash for a little over 30 days now, both at night after I take off my makeup and in the mornings before applying it, and I am hooked.  It's super easy thanks to the applicator, it's just like applying liquid eyeliner except you don't have to worry about how straight your line is!  I already have pretty long lashes so I didn't notice a lot of length growth but I did notice quite an increase in the thickness/fullness of my lashes which made me happy.

So awkward, so sorry!

I consider myself to have pretty sensitive eyes (I can't even use coconut oil on them without irritation!) and Strong Lash gave me zero problems.  The price is also the best you'll find when comparing with other similar products and you don't need a prescription for this one.  It's as easy as placing your order on their website - and make sure to check out all of the wonderful ladies that have recommended this product, even Emily Maynard!

So if you're looking for stronger, fuller lashes, definitely check out Strong Lash.  Use the code katie30 for the next two weeks to get 30% off your first order (with free shipping)!   One tube will last for up to 3 months so this is a great buy.  I'm a huge fan and hope you'll love it, too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Simple Ways to Improve Your Every Day


Maybe it's the beautiful weather, the fact that I (finally) have a few close friends here in town now or how busy we've been staying this summer, but I've come a LONG way in the 'happy' department since this post back in April.  

I've made a genuine effort to focus on doing little things that help improve my day - or better yet, improve someone else's day - on the reg and it's made a world of difference.  Whether or not you're struggling with where you're at in life right now or not (we've all been there), here are ten ways I've found to make each day a little bit happier.  Give one of them a try today!

Get outside - go for a walk, garden or even just relax on the porch. 
Buy fresh flowers.
Play fun music while getting ready for the day.
Compliment a stranger.
Make your bed first thing in the morning.
Put away the phone for 30 minutes.
Get a manicure.  
Make a to-do list.
Stretch or meditate.
Read a daily devotional - I love She Reads Truth.
Tidy up your house before going to bed.
Drink a green juice.
Send a piece of snail mail to a friend.

What's your favorite pick me up?  Enjoy today!

Image via

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Three Bags

... these are the three bags that are getting me through the summer.

We're smack dab in the middle of what is probably the busiest summer of our life and I've officially got packing down like a science now.  I've found it's easiest to keep things separated into three different bags:  one for my clothes/beauty supplies, one for the beach and one for Brady.  Nick is on his own ;)


The weekend bag from Tuckernuck is one of my favorite purchases of the year!   It's perfect for up to 3 days away, has a comfortable strap that doesn't dig into your shoulder and fits neatly in an overhead compartment of an airplane, because no one's paying to check bags anymore.  Bonus: the monogram is included in the price and you can always find Tuckernuck coupon codes online.

This woven straw beach bag is a Target find that I can't get enough of.  It's nice and roomy and fits everything you could need in it for the beach.  Plus it's adorable - everyone has been asking me where it's from all summer.  My only complaint would be that it doesn't zip shut but for the price, I can't complain.

Olivia & Joy makes some of my favorite bags and this Zip Zoom tote doubles as my gym bag and also Brady's bag - mostly because I don't care that gross water dishes and slobbery bones are thrown in there.  It's super easy to clean out and I love all of the different compartments to store things.  Best of all, I've found it at 6pm for almost half of the original price!

What's your favorite go-to bag?  And let me know if you have any genius packing tips, I'll take any that I can get!