Celebrating Four Years of Blogging

Four years ago I took a leap of faith and hit publish on this little blog of mine. Since then, I’ve learned so much about blogging, writing and social media and had a lot of fun in the process. I’ve had some amazing opportunities with partners and sponsors and am always honored when amazing companies want to work with me. I mentioned in my Miracle Morning post at the beginning of the year, that this last year was personally very difficult for me. My posts have been fewer and further between, but I’m glad I pushed through and didn’t give this up. For those of you that have kept reading, I LOVE having you here. My sincerest wish for this site is for you to imagine we are enjoying some girl talk over a glass of wine.

As I tried to take some photos, Sport kept trying to eat my candle – this little boy brings me tons of joy! I thought Sport and I would announce my annual blogiversary giveaway with a month of giveaways. Enter the giveaway below and each week I will choose another winner.

Week 1 – August 8

I started The Miracle Morning this year and it has changed everything! I want to help someone else change their life so I’m giving away a copy of Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning as my first prize.

Week 2 – August 15

This year, I was able to attend a screening of Beauty and the Beast and this was one of my favorite movies. Of all the Disney princesses I most identified with Belle. As a child I always had my nose in a book. I loved the live action movie so much and want to give away a little piece of the story to my readers. My second prize is this Beauty and the Beast stained glass rose compact. It is so beautiful!

Week 3 – August 22

Speaking of movie screenings, I covered 50 Shades Darker this year and had SO much fun at the screening and pulling together Anastasia’s looks from the movie. I’m a huge romance novel fan (my guilty pleasure) and 50 Shades is one of my favorites. I recently re-read the books and wanted to give one reader her very own masquerade mask. This is the authentic Samantha Peach mask that Anastasia wore in the movie.

Week 4 – August 29

Last but not least, is this adorable little pineapple planter from my Summer Favorites list. I am obsessed with pineapples right now and I thought this would look perfect in someone’s home.

You can enter the giveaway here, and I will announce a new winner each week. Thank you for all of your support over the past four years!

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Freshen Up Your Home with Febreze One

Disclosure: I received sample products and a gift card from Meijer in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and could tell they had a pet even before seeing it? Many times they have become immune to the smell and don’t realize that their guests can’t ignore it. Sport is the apple of our eye, but sometimes he has a smell only we can love. There are tons of things you can do to combat pet odor, but sometimes you just need something to tide you over until the next wash. Enter Febreze One

I know you’ve heard of Febreze before, but the new Febreze One uses “flairisol” technology for a light spray and it’s the first of its kind that contains no aerosols, dyes of heavy perfumes. I was please to hear this because John is very sensitive to smells in the house, so I don’t like to use things that will irritate him. Febreze One was just released at your local Meijer on July 23 and is available in Mandarin, Bamboo and Orchid scents. I tested out the Bamboo and Orchid scents.

We keep a crate for Sport and he spends his afternoons there while we are at work. We first used towels in the bottom of his crate, but they didn’t make for a comfortable surface, so we upgraded to a very plush pad. Sport loves the pad, but it retains a lot more puppy odor. I have a reminder in my phone to move and clean his crate/wash the pad at least once a month. In between that monthly cleaning, we need Febreze One to keep it fresh.

We have a bed for Sport in our bedroom and he will chill out there at night sometimes and when we are getting ready in the morning. I usually put a blanket over the bed so I can wash it more often. If you get close enough you can definitely smell dog which is where we need the Febreze One. Our bedroom is supposed to be our sanctuary so we want it to smell fresh.

Sport also likes to sleep in our bed most nights and since our comforter is dryclean only, I only take it in to be cleaned once a year. I change the sheets once a week, but a lot of times I’ll catch Sport laying on our bed, which is fine, but you can definitely tell where his spot is. Febreze One is the perfect solution to keep our comforter fresh and airy and not smelling like dog.

If you have an mPerks account, Meijer is currently offering a coupon to save $1.50 when you purchase a Febreze One Starter Mist through July 29.

Do you use Febreze to freshen up your home? What are your tips to combat pet odors?

For more Meijer posts, click here.



Five on Friday: Sixth Anniversary

On Sunday, John and I are celebrating our sixth anniversary. It’s rather fitting that the sixth anniversary is the Iron Anniversary because at this point our relationship has evolved into something so much deeper. After you go through so much together, the other person really becomes your constant and a source of strength in times of adversity. More than our fifth anniversary, this one seems like much more of a milestone as I feel like we’ve overcome a lot in the past year.

Every year of our marriage, I’ve always given John a traditional gift:

Here are a few of my gift ideas for the iron anniversary:

1. Monogrammed Forged Steak Brand ($49.95)

This is so adorable! I could either get my husband’s initials or you can also do a one-initial brand.

2. Le Creuset Cast-Iron Heart-Shaped Dutch Oven ($149.95)

This is too perfect not to include. A pink heart-shaped dutch oven?! What more can you ask for?

3. Hampton Bay Marshall Patio Chaise Lounge with Textured Silver Pebble Cushion ($159)

I’ve decided I want a chaise lounge for our backyard. I have no idea where I would put it or where it would even fit, but I’m envisioning myself lounging outside reading a book all summer and I want one.

 

4. Endless Summer Fire Pit ($181.99)

John and I have wanted a fire pit for the longest time and I love that this is a propane one making it easy to use. You could also replace the lava rocks with fireglass.

5. Fire Pit Cookout Kit ($49.99)

Once we have a fire pit, we’re going to want to make s’mores and hobo pies!

If you have any other ideas for the iron anniversary, I would love to hear them:

For more Five on Friday/Friday Favorites posts, click here.

If you would like to join the Five on Friday with Smidge of ThisThe Good Life BlogHello Happiness and Carolina Charm just click the button below for more details.

You can join the Oh Hey Friday Linkup with The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm just click the button below for more details.

I am also participating in the Friday Favorites Linkup with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog and Momfessionals. You can click the button below for more information and to join the linkup.

Friday Favorites



Unforgettable Ladies Night Out

Ladies…have you ever been betrayed by the one you love? How would you handle it? In the new movie, UNFORGETTABLE, that’s what Katherine Heigl has to figure out.  Tessa Connover (Heigl) is getting over a divorce, when her ex-husband, David (Geoff Stults) becomes engaged to Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson). Julia has a troubled past, and Tessa tries to use that against her in order to get her family back. As you can see from this clip, Julia’s dream turns into her ultimate nightmare.

I thought we could have some fun with this one, so I’m hosting an Unforgettable Ladies Night Out for 20 lucky ladies to win a pair of seats to an advance screening of UNFORGETTABLE on Wednesday, April 12 at the MJR Troy Grand Digital Cinema 16. All attendees will receive a complimentary glass of house white or red, or domestic beer prior to show time. We are also encourage you to bring an item from your ex to “giveaway.”

If you would like to join me for an UNFORGETTABLE Ladies Night Out for you and a guest, leave a comment below and let me know what the most unforgettable thing and ex ever did to you/for you (it can be good or bad). Make sure your email is attached to your name when you comment and I will contact you with a link to the registration. Seating is limited, so I will update the post when the seats are filled.

UPDATE: All of the tickets have been given away, but I do have a waitlist going and if anything opens up I will open it up to people on the waitlist. If you would like to be on the waitlist you can continue to comment and I will send you the registration link.

Thank you to everyone who commented, I am overwhelmed by the response to this and will hopefully do more in the future!

I look forward to meeting everyone!

For previous movie reviews, click here.



Beauty and the Beast

I was thrilled to get a sneak peak of Beauty and the Beast last week. I hadn’t seen the animated version in years, but boy did this bring back memories. Belle was always my favorite princess. As a child I was constantly reading, on the bus, during recess, in math class, under my covers with a flashlight, you name it – I read it. Belle is my spirit animal, she dreamt of far away places and exciting adventures. I can relate. Watching this move reminded me of being a child with a world of possibilities ahead of you. Needless to say I LOVED it!

I highly recommend seeing the movie in 3D, it just made it – especially the “Be Our Guest” montage. To celebrate the movie, I wanted to share some of the fun Beauty and the Beast accessories that are out there for adults. Yes that’s right, Beauty and the Beast is not just for the kids anymore!

Beauty and the Beast Stained Glass Rose Compact ($12)

This is so beautiful and I’m sure it would receive tons of compliments every time you pulled it out of your bag.

Beauty and the Beast Limited Edition Fine China Tea Set ($249.95)

This is pricey, but how AMAZING! I would start drinking tea just to use this set!

Lay Around the Castle Shirt ($23.50)

I love this take on the “Be Our Guest Song.”

Enchanted Rose Crossbody Bag ($59.95)

This is so little and cute! It would make the perfect bag for a whimsical outing.

Luke Henderson Book Clutch with Brushes ($45)

This is a really cute brush set. The front says “Beauty is Found Within.”

Vintage Style Yellow Stretch Cap Sleeve Swing Dress ($68)

In case you wanted to dress up as Belle, I found THE dress. This is perfect for any event and not too costumey.

Beauty and the Beast Journal ($19.95)

This journal is just stunning and would add some whimsy to a boring day at work.

Off-the-Shoulder Graphic Tee ($10.49)

I love this part of Belle’s song and love how feminine this shirt is. It was on super sale when I wrote this, so a great deal all around.

Disney Beauty And The Beast Note Card Box Set ($25.41)

How fun would it be to receive one of these in the mail? There are 20 beautiful cards in this collection.

Floral Lace Cold-Shoulder Dress ($32.99)

This dress was inspired by the movie and it is SO adorable.

Have you seen the movie yet? What’s your favorite part of Beauty and the Beast?

For more movie reviews, click here.



Happy Third Blogiversary

It’s time to celebrate my third blogiversary! This blog has always been a fun outlet for me to share some of my favorite things. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading over the past few years as much as I’ve enjoyed writing. Thank you to everyone who’s stopped by to visit my little space on the internet.

3rd Blogiversary

You can read my second blogiversary post from last year here. I didn’t want to make a lot of promises this year except that I would like to invest in a camera so I can get some great pictures and as always to post a little more consistently. I would also like to hear what posts are your favorites and what you would like to see more of, so let me know in the comments. To celebrate, I’m kicking off my four week blogiversary giveaway below and have chosen some of the fun things I’ve featured in the past year to give away, so I hope you enter often. Good luck!

Blogiversary Giveaway

I’m giving away a month’s worth of prizes! Enter the giveaway below and each week I will choose another winner.

Week 1 – July 15

Remember when I got the Chambong? Well I loved it so much I wanted to make sure that my readers had the chance to try one out themselves. Here is my original post that details what it is and how to use it.

Chambong

Week 2 – July 29

I recently featured the Tiffany T Bracelet in my Splurge vs. Steal series. I love the steal I picked out for it and decided I would give one away to one of you so you can rock it like the real thing.

Tiffany T Square

Week 3 – August 5

I loved these Pineapple Pearl Pop Earrings so much that I wrote a whole post for them. After Prep Obsessed saw the post they sent me a pair of my very own. For Week 3, I will do the same for one lucky reader!

Pineapple studs

Week 4 – August 12

I wrote a post sharing all my Beauty Favorites for a Long Day and wanted to give one lucky winner their very own Still Standing Spray. Be prepared to dance the night away in heels at your next event.

shopify_Still_Standing_box_w_minis_large

Make sure to enter the giveaway early and often for your chance to win four weeks of prizes!

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Good Luck!




Spring Bucket List

Ahhh, spring in Michigan…looks a lot like winter unfortunately. I worked A LOT this winter, between my day job, teaching and blogging I didn’t spend much time having fun or working on my winter bucket list. I would like to change that this spring and spend a little more time enjoying life, so step one is to create some fun goals.

Spring Bucket List

  • Go to Opening Day

Opening Day 2016

  • Spring clean the house
  • Refresh my windowsill garden
  • Plan a picnic date
  • Visit the Toledo Zoo to see the elephants
  • Brunch on the patio
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Make homeade ice cream
  • Go to Flower Day at Eastern Market
  • Go to Michigan’s Spring Game – We didn’t go to the Spring Game, but we did go to the special practice at Ford Field

Michigan practice 2016

  • Shop at the Farmer’s Market
  • Go to Pewabic Pottery’s Garden Party
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Use the grill
  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Take an outdoor yoga class
  • Take a Memorial Day weekend trip
  • Make limoncello
  • Pick berries from a local farm
  • Go to a Mother’s Day tea

What are your favorite spring bucket list activities?

I will add to this list throughout the season so let me know your favorites.



Bachelor 20 – Week 9 Recap

It’s Week 9…bring on the fantasy suites!

Since things are heating up, we kick off the week with some long stares and statements about how Jamaica is a beautiful place to fall in love. Lauren and JoJo are in sync in their Victoria’s Secret Robes. Lauren’s is the Satin Kimono in Blue Water ($49.50):

Kimono Wrap

JoJo’s Satin Kimono ($59.50) is a little different with lace cut outs on the shoulders.

Satin Kimono

Caila was up first and the date got off to a bumpy start. She also wore a bathing suit crop top as and outfit…although if I had her abs, I would wear that every day. Unfortunately, I can only help you with the swimsuit, not the abs. Caila wore the Billabong Gypsy Dreamin’ Crop Halter Bikini Top ($54.95) with a Madewell Mini Geochain Necklace ($30):

Billabong

Lauren’s date is up next and if it’s possible she may have worn even less than Caila. I absolutely could not pull off those shorts so I won’t even try. They did have the cutest date helping to send baby turtles into the wild. Before they headed off to the fantasy suite, Lauren told Ben that she loved him and SURPRISE! he said it back! Let’s just wrap it up right there people…

Last but not least, JoJo looked smokin’ hot in her Indah Sisi Bikini Top. I was floored when Ben told JoJo that he also loved her (WHAT?)!!! Her specific color is no longer available, but you can get it here in black for $55:

Indah

I am stunned that Ben just went out there and said the “L” word to two women. Somebody is truly going to get hurt, which is sad. After watching this episode, it’s obvious who that will be. I loved JoJo’s evening maxi dress, the Ecote Deluxe Daisy Maxi Dress from Urban Outfitters. It’s in pounds so about $100 US. This BB Dakota Larissa Black and White Floral Print Maxi Dress ($99) is somewhat similar:

Urban Outfitters Maxi

Once in the fantasy suite, JoJo pulls out another rockin’ bikini look with with Vitamin A Swimwear Kylie Triangle Top ($59.99):

Vitamin A Swimwear

Caila stops to surprise Ben and he ends up setting her home. Caila seems surprised, but I think she is better off in the end.  She wore the same Billabong Gypsy Dreamin’ Crop Halter Bikini Top ($54.95) which is reversible and a sold out Bay View Skirt from Athleta. They also make a similar Pura Vida Midi Skirt ($54):

Athleta

At the least dramatic rose ceremony, both women get roses and we are left to wonder how Ben can actually be in love with two women. JoJo is looking amazing in her Bebe Deep V Midi Dress ($129)! Since her pattern is no longer available I found this additional ASOS Deep Plunge Rose Midi Scuba Body-Conscious Dress ($68) that has the same floral feel:
Bebe

Lauren arrives and also surprises Chris Harrison by telling him that Ben is in love with her too! I’m not sure if he knew that before the girls showed up, but the audience was definitely surprised. Lauren wore the High Tide Maxi from Blue Life ($154):

High Tide Maxi

There you have it…our final two ladies!

What did you think about Week 9? Next week will be fashion packed with the Women Tell All!

If you missed this episode you can still watch it here.

For more Bachelor posts, click here.



Spring 2016 Favorites

It’s time for spring (thank goodness)! I am beyond ready to say goodbye to old man winter this year. Here are a few of my favorite things to get you in the mood for spring:

Faux-Leather Zip Top Clutch ($19)

I LOVE this color and I am a sucker for anything ombre.

Ombre clutch

Vince Camuto Off the Shoulder Blouse ($89)

This off-the-shoulder look is HOT for spring. I also like that this has straps.

Vince Camuto

Jessica Simpson Claudette Pumps ($79)

I have been jonesing for a pair of hot pink pumps for a while now. I could have a lot of fun with these!

OPI You’re Such a BudaPest

I love this periwinkle lavender color for spring and can’t wait to get this on my nails ASAP. This also comes in the gel color.

You're Such a BudaPest

Modern Sprout Garden Jars ($54)

Spring means time for planting! So I thought it was the perfect time to refresh my window garden.

GJS_OprahPkg_HR_1024x1024

Kate Spade Pretty Petals Ear Pin ($59)

I’ve wanted one of these earrings for a long time and I LOVE the flowers. These are SO perfect!

Ear Pin

Ralph Lauren Floral-Print Jersey Dress ($144)

I love that this is both springy and black, because black is my favorite color to wear. I also love pops of color. Ralph Lauren dresses are my spirit animal, they always look amazing.

Ralph Lauren

Nike Roshe Run Sneaker ($85)

These would have been perfect for my Pantone Color of the Year post. I need some new shoes and I love this pattern – so girly girl!

Nike

Very Sexy Now Eau de Parfum ($52)

I got this in a rollerball version and LOVED the smell of coconut water. It reminds me of the beach.

Very Sexy Now

Vanilla Beach Flower Candle ($24.50)

Speaking of coconuts, this candle takes the cake. It smells like vanilla flower petals, sheer coconut and soft beach musk.

Vanilla Beach Flower

What are your favorite things for spring?

You can also check out my Spring 2015 and Spring 2014 Favorites.



Winter Bucket List

I started off strong for my Fall Bucket List, but then got crazy busy about halfway through. So don’t be surprised if you see some of my Fall list creeping into my Winter Bucket List. I like having this list, because I feel like I’ve done more having it as a reminder. It definitely helps to make the seasons more memorable.

Winter Bucket List

  • Make shepherd’s pie
  • Plan a supper club with friends
  • Get a hot chocolate from Starbucks
  • Go bowling
  • Go to a Piston’s game
  • Finish my cork wreath
  • Drink champagne and have a New Year’s kiss
  • Take a cooking class
  • Watch a Valentine’s Day movie
  • Host a couple’s game night
  • Perfect John’s potato soup recipe
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Make something in the crockpot
  • Attend my annual girl’s up north trip
  • Go to a Superbowl party
  • Bake a Valentine’s Day treat
  • Indulge in a paczki
  • Go to a Red Wings game
  • Make a Mardi Gras king cake
  • Give something up for Lent
  • Watch at least one Oscar nominated movie
  • Host an Academy Awards party
  • Plan a romantic Valentine’s Day date
  • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Detroit or Chicago)
  • Host a St. Patrick’s Day Party
  • Make a St. Patrick’s Day craft

What are your favorite winter bucket list activities?

I am going to be adding to this list throughout the season so let me know your favorites.



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