Sparkles and Sunshine: 2018

Weekly Round Up

Friday, August 17, 2018

Happy Friday!

What is everyone up to this weekend?! This weekend is a pretty easy going one for Chandler and I. Chandler's working tomorrow and I'll be at the barn on Sunday which is always fun. I do need to catch up on some laundry too. Doesn't that sound fun? Haha! I'd love to know what you're doing in the comments below!

This week's round up post features some amazing articles from some incredible bloggers. I would love to know which article was your favorite!


Food:

I have been seeing these Wasa Crispbreads everywhere lately! Samantha Bowers shared a delicious looking recipe on her Instagram this week that I would love to recreate.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmgLVa2lnQU/?taken-by=samanthabowers

I love oatmeal! I've never heard of cauliflower oats before though. Lauren from Flora and Vino shared a recipe on her blog + a delicious fruity version on her Instagram!

Read it here: http://www.floraandvino.com/creamy-stovetop-cauliflower-oats/
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmgOvCkA4N7/?taken-by=flora_and_vino

I love tomatoes! They're definitely my favorite. I mean, they're the staple to marinara sauce, a.k.a. spaghetti haha! Any who, Love and Lemons shared this recipe for a Roasted Cheery Tomato Herbed Couscous Salad on her blog this week that looks amazing. I could totally see this for a fun summer cookout or dinner party!

Read it here: https://www.loveandlemons.com/roasted-cherry-tomato-herbed-couscous-salad/

This last recipe combines the best of both worlds: Greek food and mac and cheese! The second I saw this recipe I got extremely excited! Definitely check it out.

Read it here: https://www.skinnytaste.com/greek-mac-and-cheese

Entertainment:

So, apparently you can get paid to live on an island and take care of cats. When can I start? Haha!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a22698477/greek-island-cat-rescue-caretaker-job/

Yesterday some really sad news was announced. The great Aretha Franklin sadly passed away yesterday. Growing up, my mom and aunt always listened to Aretha and it wasn't until I was a little older that I truly appreciated/liked her music. She will always be a legend in everyone's hearts and minds!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/a22746824/aretha-franklin-dead-music-community-reacts/

Fashion:

I absolutely loved this blue dress that Rosie Clayton shared on her Instagram this week. She always has the prettiest outfits!

Read it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmZK3qeDDl9/?taken-by=rclayton

I feel like I had a love of polka dots this week because I found four blogger looks that I just love!
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmdo9rxgR9j/?taken-by=blaireadiebee
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmcUxp3ANkW/?taken-by=mariesbazaar
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmcjNRkH2Rk/
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmY07QfA_51/?taken-by=hannahstraffordtaylor

Every girl needs a little black dress, little white dress, and a little red dress! Whitney from Whit's Whims shared the cutest red dress on her blog this week plus a lot of other great options from a brand called Stage. Definitely check it out!

Read it here: https://www.whitswhims.com/home/2018/8/12/summerdresswithstage

It's no secret that I love the color pink! Melissa from Always Meliss shared the cutest pink jumpsuit from Vicidolls on her Instagram the other day. Is anyone else obsessed with Vicidolls? I love their clothes!!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmgBelCBD-h/?taken-by=alwaysmeliss

Get To Know My Trainer: Savanna

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

I have been wanting to do this post for quite some time now. However, Savanna and I's schedules are polar opposites, we haven't been able to meet up in forever just to take a photo together! Today I wanted to introduce you to this incredible woman who is responsible for my weekly workouts. Savanna and I met in college and have been friends ever since. She's that person where even if you don't see each other for a while, you can still pick up and have a great time together which is what I love!

Through Savanna's workouts I have already seen so much progress and I love the ongoing support from her. What I love most, is that my workout is customized towards my body and what it can do. One of my main goals was to strengthen my back and she makes sure that all of my moves will not irritate it along the way. Now that I've really talked her up, scroll down to learn more about her!



Q: How old are you? 
A: 24

Q: Why did you decide to become a personal trainer? 
A: I always knew I wanted to help people for a career and when I started becoming passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, I couldn’t think of any thing I’d rather do than transform people’s bodies, minds, and therefore their entire lives through exercise!!!

Q: How long have you been in your profession? 
A: 5 years! 

Q: What's your favorite thing to do in your free time? 
A: If I say working out, will you think I’m crazy? Lol that plus laying by the pool/beach:) I love sunshine!

Q: Who is your celebrity crush? 
A: Hemsworth brothers duh. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
A: "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." So cliche but IT'S TRUE!

Q: If you were going to sing karaoke what song would you choose? 
A: Carrie Underwood Before He Cheats ;) 

Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? 
A: To fly because then I could actually afford to travel all the time! 

Q: What is a pet peeve of yours? 
A: Loud gum smacking or chewing *gag*

Q: What's one thing you can't live without? 
A: iPhone... smh (we're all addicted) and Perfect Bars mmm. 

-Fun Facts-

1. I'm an only child and went to the same school in St. Pete, FL for all 13 years before moving to Jax for college!

2. Biggest childhood dream was to land a role on Disney Channel (even went to acting school as a tween!!)

3. When I'm not personal training or teaching group fitness, I'm either working out, stuffing my face with food, modeling, or drinking wine with my boyfriend. :) 

Now that you've gotten to know her a little better, head over to her Instagram and DM her so that she can create your own personalized workout plan for you!

Photography: Anna Carrano

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How Much It Costs To Own A Dog

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Monday!

Having any pet is a big responsibility. In addition to that, it can be very expensive. Having a dog isn't cheap, but it's one of those things that you need to know before you really invest in one. Never get a dog until you know you can provide, because it's not just your life anymore, it's theirs too. I know, I sound like a total mom but that's what you become. A dog parent! Below is a breakdown of the different costs associated with having a dog. Keep in mind that these costs can vary depending on where you are, what type of dog you have, etc.



  1. Vet Visits
    1. Usually, a regular visit to the vet costs anywhere between $35 to $45. That is the cost for the vet to just see the dog before adding anything extra. That can include medicine, shots, or anything else that could have come from your visit.
    2. In addition to any random vet visits you may have, every animal (dog or cat) has an annual check up. This includes yearly shots plus regular tests like checking for heart worms. In order for you to get any kind of flea prevention (which we'll go into next), they have to be tested for heart worms yearly.
  2. Flea/Tick Prevention
    1.  Each month your dog has to take flea prevention medicine. Now, there are multiple types out there, but the best in my opinion are: Sentinel (flea, heart worm, round worm, hookworm, whip worm, and tapeworm prevention), Trifexis (all of the previous minus tapeworm), Bravecto (flea and tick prevention). We used to just have Diesel on Trifexis, but now he is on Sentinel + Bravecto for that added tick prevention. The Sentinel pill is once a month and the Bravecto pill is every three months. Usually the total cost for both is over $100 but the cost is really determined by how many pills you buy. Most vets only carry a certain amount of dosages and online you can get more. You can almost always get a rebate if you buy a certain amount online too! Plus, the price of the pills are determined by weight, which can make it more expensive for some dogs than others. 
    2. NOTE: Not all dogs can be on the same flea prevention. Some dogs actually get upset stomach's from certain brands. It could be trial and error but you'll find out what works best for you, plus your vet should have a good recommendation!
  3.  Spay/Neuter
    1. If you adopt a rescue dog, usually they'll include the cost of the spay or neuter with it (if not already done), or they'll give you a certificate for when you can do it later on. If you buy a dog from a breeder though that is not included. Some counties offer spay/neuter programs that can really bring down the cost of that. Usually the cost for this procedure is determined by the size of the dog and to spay a girl dog is more expensive than to neuter a dog (more complex of a procedure). The cost for these can vary from $100-$400.
  4. Food
    1. This cost really varies on what your dog likes. However, JUST BECAUSE THE FOOD IS SUPER EXPENSIVE DOES NOT MEAN IT'S THE BEST FOOD. I can't stress that enough! You will see some dog food out there that costs like $60-$80 a bag. Sometimes it's worth it (if you know what to look for) but most of the time it's just overpriced. Similar to flea prevention, it could take a few tries to figure out what your dog likes/doesn't react to. Diesel has a somewhat sensitive stomach, so it took us a few tries to figure out what he likes. Plus, some dogs can actually get bored of their food and will stop eating it because they're tired of it. We had that happen once too and one of my mom's dogs does that a lot. Currently Diesel loves Nature's Recipe's Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin recipe. I actually did a blog post about it here
  5. Toys
    1. This cost is also determined by how destructive your dog is haha! Some dogs actually enjoy their toys and will make them last. For those types of dogs, you can get a decent plus toy for $10 or less. Some dogs hate toys and they just give you this look like well, what do you want me to do with it? And then there's dogs like Diesel who don't let toys last longer than one minute haha! A lot of big dogs are destroyers. Most of Diesel's favorite toys start at $10. Also, most big dogs need bigger toys so that they won't choke on them and the size of the toy also is factored into the cost. Definitely know now that any toy that says "indestructible" is a lie. You can still try it and know that it probably will last longer than a regular plush toy, but they'll still get their teeth through it at some point.  
  6. Treats
    1. This kind of goes back to the dog food but it's slightly different. With treats, you do pay for quality most of the time. I will say though that most good dog treats are not cheaper than $7 a bag and that usually isn't the biggest bag. However, I like to keep those types of treats for training/extra good dog purposes and for regular things, I have a giant box of large milk bones that I get from Sam's Club. We always give Diesel a milk bone before we leave the house for work everyday just so that being home all day isn't seen as a really bad things since he gets a cookie. 
  7. Beds
    1. I will say this now: if you have a smaller dog, this will be cheaper. So many things about smaller dogs are cheaper because they don't require as much fabric for collars, or bedding, etc. Even when you go to buy a crate, a smaller one is cheaper. However, for this you also pay for quality. Diesel has a $30 dog bed from TJ Maxx that he LOVES, a $40 dog bed from Sam's Club that he loves, and a $100 orthopedic (a.k.a. better than my bed) dog bed that he sleeps on daily too. 
    2. Dog crates can be really expensive. However, depending on how big your dog gets, you may only buy one crate in your life, or you may have to buy two or three. Either way, it's an investment that you should get at the beginning because crate training is key when you first get a dog. If you ever have to board a dog, travel with a dog where a crate is required, leave them in a crate while you go somewhere, it's important to have that skill mastered from the beginning. If you're looking at bigger dogs, most dog crates start at like $50 to $60 and can go all the way up to $200. Again, this could be a one-time investment though!
  8. Grooming
    1. Depending on what type of dog you get, you may have to pay for grooming. Dogs with shorter hair like Diesel or a boxer, can get away with a cheap curry comb that gives their fur a good brush and spreads around the good oils in their fur. If you start getting into Labrador Retrievers, you will need to invest in either a furminator brush or something that gets into the undercoat of the dog. Those types of dogs really shed (year round but even more in the summer) and this is something that needs to be done to keep them cool and to help keep the vacuuming down in the house from two times a day to one haha! If you have a longer coat dog like a Wheaten Terrier (Diesel's best friend Neville) or even a poodle, you will have to keep up with the grooming since their fur gets so long. I know Neville's owner usually gets Neville groomed every few months or else his fur gets in the way of his sight, and since we live in Florida he can get too hot. 
  9. Puppy Costs
    1. Now, if you decide to get a puppy, not only do you have all of the above, but puppies require multiple rounds of shots at the beginning before they can be around other dogs, be taken our in public (where they can be exposed to things almost like babies), etc. Every vet does it different, but the series of shots lasts between 6-16 weeks of age. This can also vary on how old they are when you get them since some shots might have already been done. Always ask when you get them what they already have/what is still needed! 
  10. Accessories
    1. Every dog needs a collar/harness and a leash. The price of the collar depends on the brand, size, and what it's made out of. Similar to the leash. The bigger the dog the more expensive the collar (but the price usually only goes up by a few dollars as you increase size on a collar). If you have a dog that doesn't go after the leash when you walk them, then you can usually get a pretty cheap leash for under $10. If you have a dog like Diesel, who likes to play with the leash as he walks and is a toy destroyer, you might need something a little tougher. If you don't, he could chew through it and who knows what could happen next. We invested in a paracord kong leash from Petsmart for like $30-$35 when he was a puppy and it was the best investment we ever made. We've had it ever since!
  11. Training
    1. There are many options out there for training. You can invest in personal dog training (more expensive) or you can do dog training at places like Petsmart or Petco. Each round of training at Petsmart was about $100. If you enjoyed one class and wanted to continue with more, they usually have a discount for your next class. I prefer dog training that is done in groups like Petsmart because it teaches the dog how to learn with distractions and it socializes them at the same time which is extremely important. 
  12. Lots of love!
    1. Luckily this is free and will be your favorite investment. Dogs are so loving and caring and only want to shower you with tons of kisses! If you give them a ton of love, you'll get a ton of love back!

I hope this post was insightful and that it helped you prepare for you future best friend! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them! Thanks for reading. :)

Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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Weekly Round Up

Friday, August 10, 2018

Happy Friday!

Ya'll, this week has been tough. Chandler and I had some hard news that we had to deal with and it kept both of us pretty tense. I shared on my personal Facebook yesterday that "being an adult sucks. Don't do it." I don't post on my personal Facebook a ton but on that post I got a ton of likes and comments. I was like well, this post was super sad but it was really relateable haha!

Alright, I'll stop being depressing and move on to the good stuff: the weekly round up articles! I hope you all love everything that is shared below.


Food:

Every Sunday I try to meal prep for the week ahead. I usually try to prep some rice, meat, and more. I absolutely loved this article from Simply Recipes. She shared 6 things to prep that will make your week easier and she shared recipes that you could use those 6 things in! This post is a total win-win!

Read it here: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/6_things_to_make_on_sunday_for_easier_weeknight_meals/

With a lot of kids starting back to school these next few weeks, that means that it's time to start making school lunches again. But, we're not going to be making amateur school lunches. No! We're going to make delicious and nutritious meals with the help of Kristin from Live Simply. Check out the two links below for multiple healthy lunch ideas!

Read it here: https://livesimply.me/2018/08/07/real-food-lunchbox-inspiration-two-weeks-of-easy-school-lunch-ideas/
Read it here: https://livesimply.me/2018/08/09/easy-real-food-school-lunch-ideas/

Chandler's favorite breakfast food is pancakes (or waffles will do too). Unfortunately, pancakes aren't the healthiest option out there. Unless you're living your Kate Spade life #eatcakeforbreakfast haha! I found this interesting recipe from Making Thyme For Health (seriously how cute is that blog name?!) for Zucchini Oat Protein Waffles. They had me at waffles but they had me curious at the other ingredients. I am wondering how this turns out, so if you make it before me, please let me know! I do want to try it sometime!

Read it here: http://makingthymeforhealth.com/zucchini-oat-protein-waffles/

Going back to the meal prepping really quick, I also found this recipe on Cafe Delights featuring a ton of chicken breast recipes. Chicken is a staple in our household because it's one of the leanest meats out there and it takes on the flavor of pretty much anything! Let me know if you try any of these recipes and which was your favorite!

Read it here: https://cafedelites.com/chicken-breast-recipes/

Ironically, this last food post has everything I don't like: chocolate and wine. Again, I know I'm weird. However, it did get me thinking about how fun it would be to have a dinner party sometime. There's so many different types you can do and they're always such a fun time. Check out the post from Pizzazzerie below for a fun chocolate pairing party idea!

Read it here: https://pizzazzerie.com/courtneys-faves/host-a-chocolate-pairing-party/

Entertainment:

Ok, who else was team Blake on The Bachelorette? I liked Garrett too but there was just something about Blake! Now, while we all watch the drama unfold on Bachelor in Paradise, we have to start thinking about who is going to be the next Bachelor! I'm honestly not sure at all. Below are the top predictions for the next season and honestly, I can see all of them except Ben. I honestly feel like it should be someone else's turn at this point. That's just my opinion.

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/a22674550/next-bachelor-season-23/


I love watching award shows. They always have the best performances! The artists for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards performances have been announced! I won't reveal them all, but I can't wait to see Post Malone and Ariana Grande!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a22690571/mtv-video-music-awards-2018-performances/

I love Missy Elliott! This week Cosmo shared the best video ever. Missy shared a video of this older woman rapping her song work it in a park for whoever wanted to listen and trust me it's fantastic. I'm pretty sure this will be me when I'm older because it's definitely me now haha!

See it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a22677061/woman-sings-missy-elliott-work-it/

Fashion:

I love the color lavender. Any pastel is in my closet. Hunter Premo shared the most gorgeous lavender maxi dress that she wore to a wedding. I could totally see myself wearing this on a casual or dressy occasion depending on which shoes I paired with it.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmPGicjniwg/?taken-by=hunterpremo

I love color! Anything that's bright and pops is my style. Jenn from Cranberry Tantrums shared the most gorgeous blue suit on her Instagram this week and trust me, blue is her color! As I was scrolling through my feed this photo instantly caught my eye and I just loved it.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmQ9cSaA5BH/?taken-by=cranberrytantrums

I love lace and crochet details. They instantly make anything elegant and beautiful! Kylee from whine to wine shared the most gorgeous white lace dress that I really want in my closet!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmPccXeBRIo/?taken-by=whinetowine

Last but not least is this gorgeous tiered white maxi dress from Vicidolls that Jessica shared on her Instagram. This dress could easily be dressed up or down for any occasion!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmO0sakgeUS/?taken-by=jesshogancrum

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12 Facts About Me

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Happy Thursday!

I haven't done an about me post in a long time and so I thought I would share some fun facts with all of you so that you can get to know me a bit better!

  1.  I LOVE pasta! It's my all time favorite food. Maggiano's, Olive Garden, all of the above are places that I can't live without!
  2. I have a dog named Diesel and two cats named Oscar and Felix. I have had Diesel since he was 2 months old and he's now a year and a half. Oscar and Felix I have also had since they were kittens and they are now 14 years old! I can't even believe that. I get sad sometimes thinking about how old they are but they're still pretty frisky! 😉
  3. I have always wanted to get my pilot's license. I used to have a fear of getting on a plane. So I thought maybe if I am the one in charge of the plane (a.k.a. control issues haha) I would have nothing to worry about as long as I know what I'm doing. Now I'm not afraid of flying but would still love to get my pilot's license one day if I can afford it.
  4. I do not like chocolate. I know, let the rants begin haha!
  5. Ford is my favorite brand of car and more specifically their Mustang model. I had a 2000 Ford Mustang until last July when I decided to get a new car. I originally planned on getting the newer model, but some brindle puppy (I'm not going to name any names...Diesel) decided to keep growing and not fit in a mustang anymore. I settled on a Nissan SUV which I do love but one day I will have another mustang.
  6. My dream is to have two stables on my property. One with actual horses (maybe 1-2 max) and the other (my garage) filled with every make and model of Mustang that I love (67, 99, 2005, etc.). I want to call it Mustang Stables. 
  7. When I was little, I got our five dogs to jump through a hula hoop all at the same time. Don't ask any questions, just accept it. 😂
  8. I have been singing since I was little. I have done Phantom of the Opera, some Latin music and more.
  9. I LOVE otters! Like SO much. When we go to the zoo, unless someone gets me, I could stare at the otter exhibit for over an hour. There's a place in San Diego where you can swim with them and one day I hope I get to. 
  10. I ride horses! I started riding this January after Chandler gave me 4 lessons for Christmas. I've loved horses since I was little (first favorite animal, then otters) and have always wanted to learn how to ride. It's pretty expensive so I can usually only afford 2 lessons a month, but besides blogging, it makes me incredibly happy. 
  11. I love SALSA. I'm a pretty picky eater most of the time (I have gotten better though) but I could eat my weight in salsa. I will try pretty much any salsa as long as it's not too spicy. 
  12. I think Dinosaurs are so cool. When I was five I think, I had this giant book of dinosaurs and I could name every single one. I also loved Godzilla! My dad and I would watch all of the movies.
Now it's your turn! I would love to hear as many fun facts about yourself as you would like to share in the comments below. I'll be looking! 😊

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Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Review

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Happy Tuesday!

Have you ever wished you could put sunscreen on all by yourself? I know I have! Some days I just want to lay out at the pool by myself but I can't because I can't put the sunscreen on all the way. Now, I'm not afraid to talk to people, but I hate asking strangers to help me sometimes. I feel like I'm bugging them. Thanks to Neutrogena, your favorite sunscreen now comes with a special full reach feature.

Now, you can reach your entire back by simply touching the nozzle. What I love most about this sunscreen is that it's lightweight, cool, and it really does a good job. I usually use SPF 30 sunscreen, but if you need more than that, it also comes in 45, 70 and 100+. You can find this sunscreen at target, walmart and most drugstores. You can also purchase directly from the Neutrogrena website. Click here to see all of the different SPF options.


Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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Weekly Round Up

Friday, August 3, 2018

Happy Friday!!!

I thought this Friday needed a few extra exclamation points. Not for any reason in particular, but sometimes I think we just need to get a little more excited about each day. I will say though that this week was definitely a struggle. I had a hard time getting up to work out, once I was at the gym it was hard for me to work out, and throughout the week I just felt super tired. Did anyone else have a similar week? I am so looking forward to sleeping in this weekend and enjoying the days off.

Plus, Chandler found an awesome deal on Groupon for tickets to Cirque Du Soleil for Saturday and I'm really excited. I've never been before but I've heard it's an incredible experience. Have you ever been?!

Below are this week's round up articles. I hope you all love them!


Food:

Looking for a delicious and healthy dinner entree? This one pan greek chicken and lemon rice meal from Kale Junkie looks so good. Besides pasta, rice is my favorite carb by far and this recipe has all of my favorites: rice, and greek chicken!

Read it here: https://www.kalejunkie.com/nicole-modic-blog/one-pan-greek-chicken-and-lemon-rice

Have you ever put quinoa in a taco before? I know I haven't! Rachel Mansfield shared a recipe for crispy pan fried quinoa avocado tacos and it actually sounds pretty interesting. Definitely check out the recipe below!

Read it here: http://rachlmansfield.com/crispy-pan-fried-quinoa-avocado-tacos/

Have you ever heard of milk thistle? Did you know it's actually not milk at all? I knew none of this until I stumbled upon this recipe from The Well Necessities. It is an undercover green detox smoothie bowl that has many amazing ingredients that will make your body feel amazing!

Read it here: https://thewellnecessities.com/undercover-green-detox-smoothie-bowl/

So, I have never heard of stewed berries. I've only really ever heard of stewed tomatoes. This grain free oatmeal recipe is paleo and vegan and only has two steps in the recipe!

Read it here: https://www.leahsplate.com/grain-free-oatmeal-with-stewed-berries/

Entertainment:

Is anyone else shopping for their significant other's birthday this month? Chandler's birthday is next week and I still don't know what to get him. I swear it just crept up on me. I mean, I'm still in shock that it's August! This list from Cosmopolitan has a ton of options for different types of guys, which I really liked! I hope it gives you some good ideas.

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/g22628672/best-gifts-husband/

I will always applaud good marketing but that's because I'm a marketing nerd haha! One of my favorite restaurants, Olive Garden, shared the funniest tweet this week featuring a makeup palette with food themed colors. It doesn't look like it's actually happening anytime soon, but, if it does I'm in!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a22629064/olive-garden-makeup-palette/

I've been reworking the budget lately to have better control of what I'm spending every week/month. Cosmo shared an article about multiple women and the amount of money in their savings accounts. It also goes into detail on their tricks to saving money, as well as what they wish they could improve about their savings habits. I liked this article because it was very realistic. Some people have a lot and some don't because of life circumstances. Regardless of the amount, there's a ton of advice from multiple people that could really benefit you!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/career/a22330620/savings-account-age-25/

Fashion:

Even though I love summer, I love seeing fall outfits. I can't wear them for a while but it's still nice to see haha. Vanessa from The Cheeky Been shared the cutest fall look featuring fun olive and rose tones. I just loved it!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5gZJmA81B/?taken-by=thecheekybeen

Vanessa also shared the cutest yellow dress that I could totally wear the remainder of summer plus into fall!
See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Blv8kBoAKk2/?taken-by=thecheekybeen

I love graphic tees. They're such a classic and nowadays they have the cutest sayings on them! Camille from Charmed by Camille shared the cutest graphic tee + denim skirt combo that is adorable for the summer weather.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5e4BSjKgJ/?taken-by=charmedbycamille

Polka dots are so fun aren't they? Caroline from Currently Caro shared the cutest polka dot midi dress on her Instagram this week. Plus, it's on sale!!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl-z2h5FgX7/?taken-by=currentlycaro

I fell in love with two piece sets this summer. I wasn't sure at first if I could even wear them but after I tried one on I was like ok, I got this. Haha! Hilary from By Hilary Rose shared the cutest bright colored two piece set this week. The blue hues on this set plus the scallop details totally give me mermaid vibes!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl1fwZengJm/?taken-by=byhilaryrose

That's all for this week's round up post! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and definitely check out my stories tomorrow night for a look at Cirque Du Soleil!

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My Summer Party Playlist

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

Summer isn't over yet, which means there's still plenty of time for parties, beach days, and more! I'm a big music lover and a firm believer in having a soundtrack for every aspect of life. I mean think about it, there are so many different playlists out there. One for a rainy day, for throwback Thursday, workouts, and more!

Today I wanted to share my new summer party playlist, filled with all of my favorite songs that will get you pumped and excited to celebrate this time of the year! Now, since many summer parties happen at the beach or pool, you need the perfect sound system right? That's why I found the perfect summer essential from Sunnylife! They have portable mini boomboxes that have a built in radio, wireless Bluetooth that works with any smartphone or tablet and it's water and sand resistant! How cool is that?! Plus, these speakers come in many different colors and two styles. Click here to see all of the different options.

Make sure to scroll down to see my summer party playlist and don't forget to follow me on Spotify.


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Making Memories Mobile With Caseapp

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Happy Tuesday!

I have always loved taking photos. To me, when I'm taking a photo I'm documenting a memory. My fear is that if I don't take photos now, one day when I'm old and forgetful, I'll have nothing to look back on to remember the good times. Some photos also mean more to me than others. You all know I love our dog Diesel. One of my favorite blog photo shoots of all time was in February when we shot Diesel's Valentine's Day photos. I would frequently look back at those photos wishing I could take them everywhere with me.




When I discovered Caseapp, I realized that this could come true! Caseapp specializes in custom IPhone cases and phone/laptop skins. Their website is very user friendly too! To create your own case or skin, simply navigate to the appropriate "design your" button. From there, you choose what type of phone you have and what type of case you want. After you've done that you can upload any photo that you want and position it where you want it. Caseapp even lets you do collages on the back too! And that's all there is to it!

                     

I love that Caseapp was able to help me take one of my favorite memories mobile. I love showing my case to everyone and I (a.k.a. Diesel) gets so many compliments on it! I hope you have fun designing your phone case or skin and that you too get a ton of compliments. I'm sure you will. 😊

Sponsored by Caseapp
**All opinions are my own**

Meet The Photographer: Alondra Vega

Monday, July 30, 2018

Happy International Day of Friendship!

When I started blogging a little over a year ago, I had no idea who I would meet along the way. One person that I've met that I am so thankful for is my photographer, Alondra. She is quirky, fun, kind, and so much more! I wanted to take today to introduce her to all of you because everyone should really know how awesome she is!



Q: How old are you?

A: I am 18 years old (19 in a month whoop whoop!) 

Q:  How did you get into photography?

A: From a young age I was secretly in love with photography but it didnt really spark until I was 17. At 15 I wanted to be a Youtuber and bought a real nice camera to make videos. Well... after a while I lost interest and was now stuck with an expensive camera. I always took artsy photos on my phone so I was like why not photography. I researched everything and dragged my best friend at the time to shoot. Oh my goodness it was bad but I enjoyed it so much. I connected with a school friend who loved photography and we went out to shoot. We were taking pictures for at least 3 hours. I fell in love with photography that day. Since then, I've added some experience and determination and now it’s not only my career but my passion.

Q: How long have you been in your profession?

A:  I have been doing photography professionally for 2 years.

Q: What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A:  My favorite thing to do in my free time is sit down with my puppies and/or boyfriend and watch Netflix.

Q: Who is your celebrity crush?
A:  My celebrity crush...Harry Styles. I’m a sucker for guys with nice hair 🤷🏻‍♀️

Q: What quote/saying do you live by?
A: For me it’s more of a bible verse. The Bible verse it’s Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  When in times of trouble I know God has got my back.

Q: What's your favorite TV series right now?
A: It changes frequently. My all time fave has to be The Walking Dead. But right now it’s Queer Eye!

Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? 
A: Telekinesis. Do I really need to explain why?

Q: What is a pet peeve of yours?
A: Mouth sounds >.<. Chewing, biting nails, etc. no thanks.

Q: What's one thing you can't live without? 

A:  I can’t just think of one because the combinations of these things are my everything: God, Family, and my boyfriend (I know that last one is cheesy but I’m for real haha)



Additional Alondra Fun Facts:
  1. I could eat a whole tub of chocolate chip ice cream.
  2. I LOVE trying out new experiences, whether that be travel or food.
  3. I am from the small island of Puerto Rico.
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Alondra! Please please please visit her website below to see how incredible her work is and of course, follow her on Instagram here. She's also tagged in all of my photos!

Photography: Alondra Vega Photography (of course!)

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Weekly Round Up

Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Friday!

Chandler and I have got one busy weekend ahead of us! While Chandler is at work on Saturday until the afternoon, that morning I have a blog photo shoot, then I have an errand to run, and then once Chandler is off work we are going to look at a few new apartments. We love where we are but unfortunately the rent is going up higher than we want to pay. Anyone else on a budget?! No matter what, it'll be fun to find someplace new that has everything we want at a cheaper price.

Below are this week's round up articles/blog posts. I hope you love them and have a great time reading them!


Food:

Have you ever heard of BuzzFeed Tasty? I completely forgot about it until the other day. Their Facebook and Instagram share such fun recipe inspo and everything usually looks pretty simple! Head to their account to see more!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/buzzfeedtasty/

I love finding no bake recipes! I just think they're so cool. I've wanted to try making my own granola bars for a while now and this recipe could be a great one to try. Chandler loves peanut butter and chocolate so this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen is a total win!

Read it here: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/no-bake-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

Do you love banana muffins?! This recipe from Super Healthy Kids not only looks delicious but it has less sugar and oil than normal recipes. Click the link below to get the recipe!

Read it here: https://www.superhealthykids.com/banana-muffins/

Entertainment/Life:

I LOVE Disney! Always have. Cosmopolitan released a list of all of the upcoming Disney live action remake movies and trust me you're going to get excited. I'm already counting down the days until the Whinnie The Pooh movie comes out in August!!!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/movies/a9173730/disney-live-action-remake-list/

I work at a fashion and swimwear company and so any timeline articles like this are super cool to me. Below is an article sharing the different iconic swimsuit looks over the years starting in 1980. Check it out!

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/g22552770/bikinis-swimsuits-through-the-years/

If you haven't heard, Demi Lovato suffered from a drug overdose this week. I grew up watching Demi Lovato in Camp Rock, Sonny with a Chance, and other roles so this news makes me so sad. I truly hope she's doing ok and I hope everyone continues to show support towards her.

Read it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/a22558607/selena-gomez-keep-the-faith-shirt-demi-lovato-overdose/

Fashion:

I love plaid. Christmas time is always my jam because there is so much plaid it's insane. I do like to wear plaid year long and this top from Sabrina Tan is too cute and would look great for fall!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BltDxkDgI8j/?taken-by=gypsytan

Ya'll know I love bright colors! Lauren by Edit by Lauren shared the cutest top that's giving me all the summer vibes!


I first saw this top when Cathy from Poor Little It Girl shared it on her Twitter the other day. Now it's on Insta and I loved it the second time I saw it. Check it out below!


I love lace. It's feminine, girly, and elegant! Jeanette from J's Everyday Fashion shared the prettiest white lace top on her Instagram this week that I would love to wear during spring or summer!


That's all for this week's round up post. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you do something you love!


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Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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New Visualization Approach To Life

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Happy Wednesday!

About two weeks ago I had a conversation with Chandler's mom about my struggle with riding. Ever since I fell off, I struggled to feel confident about getting the horse to canter again. I couldn't stop thinking that I was going to fall off again which was such a terrible mindset. When all you can think about is the negative outcome, that's exactly what's going to happen.


Chandler's mom told me that instead of envisioning the fall, think about doing it, and doing it well. This thought seems so simple and obvious but it had never occurred to me that this was all I needed to do. When something traumatic happens to us, our body instantly recognizes that event as something that shouldn't happen again. However, this situation, similar to many others in life such as falling off a bike and getting back on, is one where you have to tell your body "it's okay, I know it was scary, but you love it so try again."

That's exactly what I had to do. I had to remove that fear from my head and instead, fill it with visuals of pro riders doing exactly what I was doing with all the confidence in the world. I spent hours and days watching riding competitions, jump off's, Grand Prix events, riders cantering around a ring, and more. Once I watched the numerous amount of people doing exactly what I was doing, I thought how could I be afraid? Yeah you probably will fall off again at some point. The joke at the barn is that the more you fall off the better rider you are. While of course I want to prevent myself from falling off, I'm no longer afraid to canter around the ring. Now, I can do it and am learning more about jumping which is something I really want to do.

Life can be filled with fear. But if you let the fear cloud your head, similar to a bunch of sand being thrown in your face like my photo above, you'll never get past anything or do all of the things you love. I now apply what Chandler's mom said to everything. When I do box jumps in my workout, I visualize myself jumping and being on top with ease. When I'm struggling with something at work, I visualize myself being a pro at it in the future.

So, I challenge you to take on this visualization approach to life. No matter what you're struggling with, visualize yourself taking control over it and just crushing it! Think of the positive, and only the positive outcome of what you want. If you have this mindset, I promise you won't fall off the horse. 😊

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Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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What My Dog Has Taught Me

Monday, July 23, 2018

Happy Monday!

Growing up I've always had more than one dog. I remember having those hard times in college, thinking to myself, if only my dog was here to comfort me. Dogs just know things don't they? They're so incredibly gifted it's crazy. I read a quote once saying how we don't deserve dogs which is so true. However, if you love them enough, I think that quote can somewhat go away.

I will say it is such a different experience having your own "first" dog compared to the dogs that lived with you growing up. You think you know everything there is to know about having a pet until you get your own with it's own unique personality, needs, and more. I have learned so much from Diesel this past year and a half (they grow up so fast 😭) and I wanted to share that with all of you today. Hopefully all of my fellow dog parents can relate!


  1.  You love them more than people. 
Not too long ago I asked my mom "Is it bad that sometimes I feel like I love Diesel more than Chandler" and she just laughed and said "not at all! Dog love is a different kind of love that you can't compare with what you have with Chandler. Dogs don't make you mad/frustrated as often as a partner, and all dogs do is show you love. Of course you love them more!" 

      2. You learn how to be a parent.

When you get a dog, you really learn what it's like to be a parent (to an extent of course). Depending on what age you get them at can also determine how much parental training you're getting haha. I mean think about it, if you get a puppy first like we did, you're potty training them, teaching them right from wrong (the constant don't lick this or don't touch that!), taking them to school (training), feeding them, exercising them, putting them to bed, etc.! That's the definition of being a parent!


    3. You're not a bad dog owner just because you need to go somewhere without them.

This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn from having Diesel. When he was younger, we had some friends drive up to meet in St. Augustine which is only like 40 minutes away from where we live. Chandler basically had to convince me to get out the door and leave Diesel for just a few hours and even then, when we were STILL in the parking lot, I started crying because I wasn't with him. Now, I might sound crazy, but it was the first time that I had left him alone at night for a while and I was worried he would be afraid. He gave me the choice to stay home but I knew I had to go if I was ever going to be able to leave Diesel alone at night. I remember calling my mom and she laughed/made fun of me/completely understood where I was coming from. She's the one who told me "I promise he'll be okay. Of course he'll miss you, but he's a big boy and can handle it. You need to be able to do this too because it's going to be 10x harder with real children." She reminded me that it's okay to leave them for a little bit even though it's hard. 


   4. They're not just a dog, they're your best friend/child/soul mate.


This one kind of ties into the first point. When you get a dog (or any animal to be honest because my cats also fall into this), they don't just stay a dog. If you have a family they become part of the family, if it's just you they become your best friend and child. Dogs have been next to man's side for the longest time and there's a reason for it. When you have a dog, the bond you form is so strong. They will protect you, help you, love you, and comfort you when needed. All of what was just listed, sounds exactly how you would describe a family member, a best friend, your child, and your soul mate. If you show them love, they'll love you fur-ever. 😊

    5.  The habits they form when they're little never go away.

This one kind of goes into the parenting point. When Diesel was a puppy we let him sleep in the bed with us. To this day, he assumes that he sleeps there with us even though he's over 100 pounds haha! I even got him an orthopedic dog bed (a.k.a. a bed that's nicer than mine) and he still chooses to sleep with us. Same with training, if you let your dog think things are okay when you first get them, they'll continue to keep up those good or bad habits.

Having a dog is one of the best things in the entire world, and the experience really teaches you a lot about yourself. It teaches you discipline, responsibility, humility, understanding, and more.

To all my fellow dog parents, I hope you too were able to relate to this post and that it brought a smile to your face.

Thanks for reading!

Photography: Alondra Vega Photography

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Weekly Round Up

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

I had the BEST night last night you guys. My coworker's fiance had free tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert so Chandler and I got to enjoy a fun night with one of my all time favorite country bands. If you saw my Instagram story then you know how excited I was! It's funny because I grew up listening to them with my mom who also loves them and once I told her I had the tickets she said "I'm on my way lol." If she wasn't two hours away, she totally would've been there with me!

What also worked out is that I had already requested today off from work. So, I got to stay up late listening to country music and then sleep in. It doesn't get any better than that! I am also excited to share that today I am doing my first try on session with a local boutique called Fig and Willow. Fig and Willow is located in Neptune Beach, FL and carries clothing and accessories! I have always loved supporting local businesses since my mom has her own as well. We all have to support our local #girlbosses am I right?! Make sure to head over to my Instagram story to see the full try on!

Now on to today's round up articles! I have found such an amazing content to share with you all this week and I hope you enjoy it.



Food:

Okay, so I really need to stop searching for food articles while I'm HUNGRY! It's like going to the grocery store while on an empty stomach which I have done and it didn't end well. I bought bacon, pancakes and then burnt the bacon and pancakes. #godhelpme haha! The recipe below from Half Baked Harvest is almost another version of a grilled cheese sandwich and it looks so good. I'll definitely be trying this out!

Read it here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/marinated-veggie-cheese-sandwich/

The name of this next recipe is honestly why I'm sharing it with all of you. It is called the Chocolate Snack Cake. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? A dessert that's called a snack? Yes, please! I don't like chocolate but I think I'm officially going to name every dessert I make from this point on a snack just because. Check out the recipe below!

Read it here: http://www.thevanillabeanblog.com/2018/07/chocolate-snack-cake.html

I have been wanting to make egg cups for quite some time. They seem like the perfect make-ahead breakfast for people on the go. This recipe includes sun dried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, and more! Check out the recipe below from Fit Foodie Finds to see how to make them.

Read it here: https://fitfoodiefinds.com/spinach-and-sun-dried-tomato-egg-cups/

Another recipe I chose because of the name was this recipe from Crazy For Crust. It's called the Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake. I mean, has anyone else ever heard of an icebox cake? Dorothy from Crazy for Crust actually explains what it is and how to make one in this blog post. I definitely loved reading it!

Read it here: https://www.crazyforcrust.com/blueberry-lemon-icebox-cake/

Entertainment/Life:
I found out this past week that The New York Times actually has a page on their site dedicated to only good news! I never watch the news because I hate hearing about only negative things. I don't understand why you would want to fill yourself with worry and fear 24/7 but that's just me. If you want some good news in your day, check out the link below!

Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/the-week-in-good-news

I LOVE Lipsync Battle. I think it's so funny and I really really (REALLY) want to do it haha! If you're a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan then this recent episode featuring Ben Higgins and Rachel Lindsay is one you'll love!

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rcCTnIqCTM

I love Ariana Grande's new song "God Is A Woman" but I don't exactly like/understand the music video. I'm just being honest though. However, there is a scene that's shown a few times featuring her in this colorful rippled water so to speak and Lush, creator of the most perfect bath bombs is apparently making a bath bomb to match the music video. How cool is that?!

See it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a22349958/new-lush-bath-bomb-ariana-grande-music-video/


I love watching America's Got Talent. It's one of my favorite shows! They are officially in the judge cut rounds and on the most recent episode, someone almost got pretty hurt. The link below shares the scene but something more important to note is the judges commentary. They stated that no act will ever be perfect. I loved how understanding they were, I loved how the girl got right back up and was ready to try again (God bless her for that), and I loved how everyone's opinions didn't change just because of one incident. We should all have that mindset!

Watch it here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a22341996/americas-got-talent-trapeze-act-duo-transcend/

Fashion:

Rachel Timmerman from Something Delightful shared the cutest N Sale find! It's a chambray cold shoulder dress that would be perfect for summer or fall! I have always had a thing for chambray and so I instantly loved this dress!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Blb-GZIlHhL/?explore=true

Another cute chambray dress was styled on Melissa from Always Meliss! It's light, breezy and would look cute at the beach!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlcHWHWlfSl/?explore=true

I believe I've shared this dress before from another blogger but I couldn't help but share it again since I love it. Alexa Anglin from Lately with Lex shared this style from Sundress on her Instagram this week that I had to share!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bldd-5jFTTk/?explore=true

I'm originally from the Orlando area and so I grew up going to Disney. I can't believe I have not heard of Chelsea Watson before! She shares the cutest Disney fashion inspo on her Instagram that you all have to check out if you're a Disney fan like myself.

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlWbWtwhqmZ/?taken-by=styledbymagic

Erin Miller from Over The Moon Far Away shared the cutest purple jumpsuit on her Instagram this week that I just loved. The photo is super colorful with a matching purple background and it instantly caught my interest!

See it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkv7bTUAZ3o/?taken-by=overthemoonfaraway

That's all for this week's round up post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you all enjoy my try on session on my Instagram story today!

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