Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the story of my christmas tree


i'm very particular about my christmas tree.  and by particular, i mean i don't allow anything on it that doesn't match the rest of the decor.  oh and my wrapping paper has to match...
call me snobbish all you want, but that's just how i am.  i catch alot of slack about this each year. 
i get the typical, "your tree is too perfect" or "things will change when you have kids".  why can't people just say, wow your tree is gorgeous and get on with it?  i don't have any homemade ornaments from my childhood hanging on my tree, and yes everything matches perfectly.  what many people don't realize though is that my tree actually does have sentimental value to it, and it's not all perfect.

1. let's start with the actual tree.  this tree was passed down to me from my mom.  it's actually pretty old.  ok, ok so it's only like 15 years old, but in artificial tree years, that's alot.  and it leans a little to the right!  oh my!

2. and guess what!  there is a whole strand of lights that don't work.  that's right, you heard me... they don't work.  so each year, i have to space ornaments accordingly so they hide the missing strand of lights.

3. most of the ornaments are very fragile glass ornaments that were also passed down to me from my mom.  and the paint is chipping on quite a few of them.

4. a few of the ornaments, and the white poinsettias were actually split between my mom and i.  she has some, and i have some, so each year our trees have similar decor.

5. i have a few glass ornaments that were hand painted by a dear friend of mine, and she even put a leopard print bow on top of them to match my tree :)

6. there are very few things i'm good at, and i'm not very crafty, but when it comes to tree decorating, i feel like i rock it!  it's one of the few traits i got from my mom.

so see my tree does have some sentimental value.  it's a little bit of my mom, my childhood, my friends, and me.  and when kids come along, things may be different, but that will be up to me.  my christmas tree is just that, mine.  and if i like it that's all that matters :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

birthdays, graduations, walking pneumonia, and the flu

it's been a crazy few weeks folks.  sorry for my lack of blog writing :(  this girl has been sick!  i've had walking pneumonia and the flu all in one month!  i'm finally starting to feel like a human again after loads of medication.  a lot has happened in the past few weeks.  we took a trip to gatlinburg with some friends, went to the biltmore house, i cooked my first thanksgiving turkey, turned 28, had a ton of friends and family in town, and my sister graduated from college.  needless to say i'm exhausted.  here are a few pics from the past few weeks:









i hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season.  now that i'm feeling better, i promise to start paying more attention to my blog :)  happy monday everyone!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

my struggle with acne


eeek didn't mean to scare y'all :)  this is what i look like almost every night.  why?  because i struggle with...  ACNE!

at nearly 28 years old, you would think that my struggles with acne would be long gone by now.  WRONG!  actually to be honest, i didn't start struggling with acne until about 4 years ago.  i hardly ever had it as a teenager.  i would have the occasional pimple here and there, but nothing to freak out about.  in the summer of 2009 i woke up one morning and noticed that i had a few more pimples on my face than i normally do.  so i did my usual "i have a huge zit" routine and covered them with makeup.  the next morning it was worse.   throughout that summer my face became worse and worse.  huge cystic acne all over.  it was a nightmare.  i seriously could have been on a proactive commercial.  it got so bad that i would go a few days without wearing makeup and just cover my face in neosporin. 
something in my life made my skin hate me!  i have a few theories as to what caused this change in my skin.  earlier that summer LT and i broke up after being together for 3 years, and i stopped taking my birth control.  for no reason at all other than the fact that i was lazy and never took it on time anyway.  so with the stress of a breakup and a rocky relationship, and suddenly stopping a hormonal medicine that i had been taking off and on since i was 18, my face suddenly said "screw you" i'm gonna make your life miserable!  and that's just what it did. 
that august i made another life changing decision and decided to get my first "big girl" job in the big city.  i packed up my stuff and moved to atlanta.  and guess what... the acne got worse.  i struggled with it for a few months and literally tried everything.  i tried different medicines and creams.  i tried homemade masks and spot treatments.  sometimes i would even hold my blog dryer over my big ones so the heat would help the pain. 
a few years went by, and i started to get used to having breakouts all the time.  it was a part of my everyday life.  i eventually moved back to north carolina, got back together with LT and we were engaged by Christmas of 2010.  we found out that his father had terminal cancer on Christmas day of that year, and with the stress of that news, and trying to plan a wedding, my acne decided to flare up again.  it would flare up, and then get better for a couple of weeks, and then flare up again.  it was a constant struggle.  his dad passed away in june of 2011 and we were married that september.  thankfully on my wedding day my face actually behaved.  but that winter it started to get bad again.  i remember one night looking in the mirror and being so disgusted with my face that i started hitting myself.  slapping myself so hard that my face turned red.  that's when LT and i decided we had to do something.  he was concerned for me, not just because of my acne.  he loved me no matter what i looked like, he was concerned for my well being.  i hated my face.  i hated to even look in the mirror.
i talked to a dermatologist in the spring of 2012 who put me on an antibiotic, and we determined that i was struggling with hormonal acne.  after a couple of months on the antibiotic i noticed that it started to get better so i stopped taking it... big mistake.  it decided to flare up again.  i talked with LT and he said that he was willing to do anything to help me feel better about myself.  a friend of mine came over one night and started telling me about the facial that she had just had.  so i told LT about it, and I decided to call the next day and book one for myself. 
the day i went to my appointment i was so excited.  this was my last hope.  after trying literally everything, i hoped that this would kick-start the healing process.  she was amazing!  she gave my face a deep clean, and examined it under a bright light so she could see exactly what we were dealing with.  she said it was indeed hormonal acne.  it wasn't my diet, or the makeup i was wearing, it was something deep down inside that was causing these flare ups.  some type of hormonal imbalance.  the facial was amazing.  my face felt so clean healthy right after.  she decided to help me change up my routine.  she put me on a facial routine called dermalogica medi bac.  it's made specifically for adults who struggle with this type of acne.  she also put me on a new make up routine.  bare minerals.  even though it wasn't the makeup i was using that was causing the acne, it wasn't necessarily helping it.  i needed something a little lighter so it wouldn't clog my pores as much.
after being on this new routine for about a month i started to notice a difference.  the cystic acne had started to be less noticeable, and my breakouts weren't near as bad as they used to be.  i started getting regular facials, and between that and my new routine, i was well on my way to clear skin.
today i still struggle with breakouts.  they aren't as bad as they used to be, but i still get them.  i'm so thankful for my esthetician.  she has helped me get my confidence back.  my face isn't perfect, but it's ten times better than it used to be.  i still struggle, and my husband makes fun of me because i don't like to put my makeup on with full light.  only because i feel like the full light shows more flaws.  even if i don't have a breakout, i still can't use the overhead light.  i guess it's habit. 
if anybody is struggling with acne, please feel free to talk to me about it.  i understand what it's like to go through it, and to feel so self conscious about your face.  i would love to help someone who is dealing with this type of thing.  i am so thankful for this blog, because it's a place where i can talk about my struggles, and help others.
happy friday loves :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

my "i like this so i'll pin it, but i'll probably never do it" list

http://www.pinterest.com/jlgilbreath/boards/

so what was i doing while i wasn't blogging you ask?  spending every single day and night on pinterest.  every night when we lay down in bed, my husband gets on his phone to chive and what do i do?  i play on pinterest.  it's pretty bad y'all.  i've become more obsessed with pinterest than i am of teen mom... which may i add the new season is NOT my favorite, i'm not a fan...

so anyway badk on track.  let's take a peek into my pinterest account to see what i've been pinning lately....

stuff for my house that i could probably never afford, or have time to actually do










































































































clothes that i wish i owned, but probably never will









































































































hair that i love but will never have to guts to do get done myself




























































































and there you have it... just a few of my "i wish" pins lol.  happy hump day everyone :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

is it too early??

y'all i am patiently waiting to put my tree up.  i usually wait until after thanksgiving, but this year i think i may do it this weekend...  my husband is trying to change my mind, but i'm ignoring him :)
it seems like each year, more and more people are celebrating christmas earlier and earlier.  next year it will probably start in september.  not kidding!  i can remember when i was little we didn't put up our christmas decorations until the 2nd week in december.  now as soon as november hits, i can't help but want to start getting out my decor, and listen to christmas music.  and let's not forget the christmas movies.  this year i started watching home alone in october!  i know i know, it's too early right?  but i can't help it!  i love this time of year.  everyone just seems to be in a better mood.  how many of you already have your tree up?  is it too early for me to put it up this weekend?? please say no :)


Monday, November 18, 2013

back in the swing of things

hey friends!  it's been a while.  i'm finally feeling like a human again after having food poisoning a few weeks ago and a horrible head cold.  i've been pretty miserable lately.  but yesterday i decided to actually shave my legs and paint my nails.  my legs went from feeling prickly (like any normal leg that hasn't been shaved in 2 or 3 days) to fuzzy.  like a bear.  an actual bear.  it was bad y'all.  i've been in such a slump lately.  not feeling like myself.  i'm usually bouncy and most of the time i have a great attitude about life, but i just haven't been that person.  it makes me so sad, because i feel like when i go through slumps like this, i waste so much of my time.  time that i could be spending with friends or family.  instead i spend time doing absolutely nothing.  now that the Christmas season is quickly approaching, i'm starting to feel like myself again.  i'm excited to put up my tree, and decorate my house for the season.  i'm excited about spending quality time with family, and making memories that will last a lifetime.  it's those positive things that help my attitude.  

so now that i'm feeling slightly better, i'm ready to start blogging again.  i've missed my blog friends, and those connections i make with so many women.  blogging is a way for me to open up about things that are going on in my life.  and i'll be honest writing this post today has made me feel ten times better :)  so yay!  i'm back!  whoop whoop!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

a little blogger break

well after thinking about this for a while, i've come to the conclusion that i am going to be taking a small break from blogging.
i am not sure how long of a break this will be, but i promise i will be back.
blogging is, and always will be something that i love very much, but recently i haven't felt that connected to it.
having a full time job and trying to blog is very hard and time consuming.


i will still be doing blog designs, and if you are interested please send me an email to bowen106@gmail.com or visit my blog design website.

wishing you all the best!
i'll be back soon :)


Monday, October 21, 2013

issues with blogger

i logged into my blogger account this morning and it's missing half of the blogs that i follow.  it's missing my follower and page view count, oh and when i view my blog... half of my buttons are missing and my page links and social media icons are gone!  is anyone else having this issue?
get it together blogger!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

fall fashion

so i've finally come to the realization that fall is here and i need to just go with the flow.  i feel like summer flew by, and i was not ready for fall, but the past week i've found myself slowly accepting the new season.
the smell of pumpkin pie, and the cool crisp breeze have definitely helped.

another thing that gets me excited for fall is the clothes!  boots and scarves are right up there next to bikinis and mini skirts for me :)
i'd have to say that fall fashion is one of my faves.

check out some of my favorites for this season.


Monday, October 14, 2013

best vacation ever

well guys i'm finally back.  i know my blog has been a little quiet these past couple of weeks, but that's only because i was in cancun having the time of my life.  

we arrived in beautiful cancun on monday the 30th of september at around lunch time.  we had a super smooth flight, and got through customs with no issues at all!  so we hopped in our transfer bus where our amazing driver greeted us with 2 ice cold coronas.


and that's when our vacation started.
we arrived at our resort around 1:30 cancun time where we were greeted with yet another drink!  our room was ready right when we arrived and we were able to bypass all the timeshare crap.  so we headed to our room, got changed and headed straight to the pool.  we filled up our bubba mugs, took a couple of shots with some new friends that we met and at 5 pm we went to the room to take a nap and ended up passing out until the next day.  i don't know if it was the alcohol or if we were just really tired... i'm gonna go with the tired excuse :)

tuesday we woke up to clear blue skies ready to begin all over again.  this was the day that our friend adam was arriving.  we met adam at the same resort last year and kept in touch.  he's become one of my vacation besties.

after adam arrived we met an amazing group of people who we ended up playing multiple rounds of flip cup with.  it was dark by the time we headed back to our room.

adam, me and the hubby
our new flip cup friends
wednesday was another gorgeous day in cancun!  not a cloud in the sky.  since we go to cancun alot, lt and i are on a forum for people who visit this resort quite often, so we were able to connect with people that were going at the same time we were beforehand.  wendesday was the day that most of those people were arriving.  it was great to look across the pool and see some familiar faces.
so we met our new friends april and brent, and had a blast in the pool that day!

thursday we woke up to nasty gray skies and torrential downpours :(  tropical storm karen decided to show her ugly face.  but that didn't stop us from having a great time.  we headed to the indoor bar to play beer pong and had a blast!
by around 3pm that day the skies cleared and the sun came out.  just in time for some fun in the pool with all our new friends.

by friday the skies were gorgeous again.  no more wind and rain.  the rest of our friends from the forum arrived this day.  so by this time there was a group of about 30 of us.  we were definitely the most wild group in the pool.
one of the couples from our group brought a blow up beer pong table which definitely got the party started.


and just so you know... the girls won :)

that night was white night at the resort.  everybody wears white and glow sticks.  one of my favorite nights!


saturday was another amazingly beautiful day!  we really were pretty lucky with the weather this time around.
the beer pong table made another appearance in the pool that day.
saturday was more of a slow day, because sunday was the day that we were all waiting for.
the booze cruise!

our entire group met sunday morning at the pool bar around 10 am, and then we headed to the catamaran.  this was by far our favorite day of our vacation.
i don't have any pictures of the cruise unfortunately :(
but the memories i have of this day are unforgettable.
just a bunch of friends partying together on a big boat.  definitely the most fun i've ever had!

monday was a sad day, as it was our last day in cancun.  our friend adam left this day, and the pool was pretty quiet.  probably because everyone was so hungover from the booze cruise.
but we made the most of it.
we met our new friends tiffany and andrew the day before on the cruise, and hung out with them that day.
that night was little black dress night/ 50 shades of grey night.  so we all dressed up in our best little black dresses (my hubby rocked the christian grey ripped up jeans and black t-shirt look very well)


our last night was amazing!  we danced until the early hours of the morning with all of our new friends.
and then came tuesday :(
the day we headed back to reality.
i had never been so exhausted in my life, but it was all worth it.

all in all it was one of the best vacations we have ever taken.  we are so sad that it's over.  it wasn't the beach of the pool or the tropical drinks that we miss, it's the friendships we made with some amazing people.  memories that will last a lifetime! 
we're already planning another trip to the same place with the same people next october.


so now i'm going to sip my coffee and day dream about being back in cancun.
happy monday my sweet friends :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm back...

well we arrived back in the states yestrday after one of the best vacations of our lives!  we had so much fun and hated to leave :(
i'm back at work today trying to catch up on everything so

Thursday, September 26, 2013

throwback thursday // this girl should not be in charge of link ups

yup it's true!  guess what i did this morning??   left my picture sitting right there on my kitchen counter lol. 
so i'm going to have to post mine when i get home tonight.  
but until then i'll leave you with this.

we'll call this my freshman year of college photo...


you've probably seen it before, and honestly i should probably just burn it, but it's just too funny!
i mean first i'm double fisting a bud light and a smirnoff (mistake number 1)
and i'm wearing a belly shirt (mistake number 2)
and that belt?!? (mistake number 3)

oh and not to mention this photo was taken at a high school prom photo (i was in college)  yes i was that girl.

so anyway check back later for another hilarious photo.
oh and make sure to link up below.  i need some good laughs today :)


Sweet Southern Wife

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

cancun on my mind

sorry guys, i won't have much for you this week.  i'm trying to get everything in order at work before i head out of the country on monday :)

but just to let y'all know.  throwback thursday is back this week!  so make sure you check out mine and lauren's blog on thursday.
this week's theme is your best school portrait.
and by best we mean your worst...
i can't wait to see what y'all come up with!


Friday, September 20, 2013

on blogging

when i started my little blog a few years ago, i had no idea it would ever get this big.  ok so 311 followers is not really that big right?  according to some bloggers out there it's not.  for a long time i wanted to be one of those "bigger" bloggers, one of those bloggers who had a couple of thousand followers.  well i've finally come to realize that i'm probably never going to be one of those bloggers.  and for the first time since i started my blog, i'm ok with that.
some of you may have noticed that i've had fewer posts that i usually do.  i'm not blogging as much and my twitter account seems to be non existent.  see i realized something a few months back.  i was focusing way too much of my time on my blog.  which to some people isn't a bad thing, however when you're blogging all the time, have a full time job and blogging isn't bringing in that much money, it's time to step back a bit.
i've lost a few followers in the past couple of weeks, probably because of my lack of blog posts, and i can remember when that used to really bother me.  well honestly it hasn't even phased me.
i want readers who actually read my posts.  i have a few followers who really take the time to read my blog and leave sweet comments.  there isn't alot of them, but i'm ok with that.  i would rather have a few really good and loyal blogger buddies than 300 followers who just follow me back because i followed them.
you may remember a few months ago when i shared a touching story about a baby girl named finley.  finley was fighting for her life, and passed away a few weeks after she was born.  click on the link above to read her story.
this is what really changed my mind about blogging.  i emailed a few other bloggers about finley's story, and i got an overwhelming response from them.  i was thrilled.  many other bloggers shared finley's story.  at that moment i realized that blogging wasn't about trying to get more followers.  it was a way for other bloggers to come together to support one another.
i received an email a few weeks back from tim oblander (finley's father)  he wanted to thank me for sharing finley's story.  their facebook page for finley reached over 40,000 views at one point, and they were puzzled as to how in the world that many people knew about her story.  thanks to all of the bloggers i emailed, and all of the tweets and posts, finley's story was able to reach that many people.  his email to me really touched my heart, and made me realize that my view on blogging had changed.
i was no longer worried about the number of page-views or followers i had, but how many people actually read my blog, and how many of those care about what i post.  all of those bloggers sharing finley's story meant so much to me.  it meant more to me than receiving a comment from one of those girls we like to think as blogger celebs...  and right then and there, my view on blogging changed.
so from now on you may notice that my blog might go a few days without a post.  or my twitter account will be a little boring.  and if i lose followers because of that, it's ok with me.  i'm just thankful for the wonderful connections that i have made through blogging, and the wonderful women who i have never met, yet i feel so close to.  that's what blogging is all about.
love you all!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

rain, rain and more rain :(


gross!  this does not look good at all :(
everyone please say a prayer that all of this nastyness over cancun is gone by september 30th!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2 years of marriage

today is my 2 year wedding anniversary.  wow i can't believe i just said that!  2 years has gone by so fast.  i remember it like it was yesterday.  the emotions i felt were so intense.  i was nervous, excited, blessed, and feeling so in love with my soon to be husband.
the past couple of years have been filled with so many ups and downs.  we've made it through some very tough times, and we've also made it through some amazing times!  my husband is my best friend.  he's there for me when i need a shoulder to cry on, and we have so much fun together.  i consider myself to be one of the luckiest girls in the world.  
so here's to my husband.  one of the hardest working and best looking man i know :)
here's to many more years of happiness!

 

Monday, September 16, 2013

it's a monday

happy monday loves!  i hope yours has been a little better than mine.  let's just say it's a monday.  that is all.
anyway we had a pretty relaxing weekend.  didn't really do much.  hung out with the hubby, took a trip to the casino, and then had fun with the nieces :)


the only thing getting me through this day is knowing that my 2 year wedding anniversary is tomorrow, and 2 weeks from today i'll be in beautiful cancun!

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