Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Currently I Am...

+ Wishing I were here. But that's no different than any other day of my life.

#lakelife #summer #bluebobbinmargs #margaritas #bloglife #planners #erincondrenplanner #jobinterview #legendary #legendairy

+ Finally caught up on my lack of sleep from bachelorette festivities last weekend. That only took 3 days - man, I feel old.

+ Up super early in the morning because it seems like that is the only time I can find to write lately. I love the summer months but they fly by so fast - I swear people are already talking about back-to-school, football, and pumpkins around here and I'm just not ready.

+ Looking forward to drinking one of these blue bobbing patron poppin margs this coming weekend. I've been thinking I should probably share the recipe on here so that I am not depriving you of one of life's greatest margaritas, so obviously now I have to make some so I can fine-tune the recipe and photograph those beauties.

#lakelife #summer #bluebobbinmargs #margaritas #bloglife #planners #erincondrenplanner #jobinterview #legendary #legendairy

+ Feeling a little disconnected from the blog world. It's like things just get a little bit quieter around these parts in the summer, and I am not disagreeing with or blaming anybody on that fact because the summer months should absolutely be enjoyed and time should be spent with friends and family. I just have felt a little disconnected since I'm struggling a little sometimes to make time for my own blog and I miss reading from some of my favorites!

+ Wanting a new planner, and not because I don't love mine because I really do. I'm just such a planner-obsessing freak that sometimes I wish I needed more than one. Maybe I'll just pre-order my 2015 calendar soon - at least that way I'll get it before February, because that was a bummer last year. Thoughts on favorites planners? I currently have the Erin Condren Life Planner.

#lakelife #summer #bluebobbinmargs #margaritas #bloglife #planners #erincondrenplanner #jobinterview #legendary #legendairy

+ Laughing. Hard at this photo. Not necessarily because it's hilarious but because I had to explain it to Parker. Can you figure it out? 

#lakelife #summer #bluebobbinmargs #margaritas #bloglife #planners #erincondrenplanner #jobinterview #legendary #legendairy
Photo source
His guesses were "legend milk", "legend calcium", and "milk legend" before I finally helped a brother out.

+ So so so so soooo excited for Parker who has an interview on Friday! Remember reading our last life update and I said that this November we will be moving back to Fargo? I have a job and Parker is currently job-searching. He has time obviously but I know he would love to know what he's going back to - it can be hard to feel like you're living in "limbo" sometimes. And plus, the interview is at our college alma mater so we're both pretty excited about that :) Good luck thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The 7 Best Mobile Photo Apps

I have a great DSLR Canon that I love but I also take so many photos on my phone. It's the convenience of always having it with me in my purse mixed with my obsession of uploading everything to instagram that gets me. 

I do need to get better about taking my nice camera with me more on the weekends or when we're out with friends because it does require practice to take high-quality photos and there's no doubt that the ones I take with my DSLR are always the most clear, crisp photos I've ever seen. But on the other hand, there are certain instances where taking a picture on my phone is just fine and I have found a few apps that I love for editing photos on my iPhone.

#iphone #photoapps #afterlight #over #xnviewfx #picflow #instasize #vscocam #cameraplus #itunesapps #itunesphotoapps #phonephotos

+ PicFlow : This is the best app to use if you want to put together a short, photo slideshow with corresponding music and post to social media. 

+ VSCOcam : This is my absolute favorite one and I think I now use it on every single photo before uploading to instagram. It allows you to edit in any way you could possibly imagine, crop, straighten, apply filters, and export straight to your camera roll or any form of social media. I think I maybe had to purchase this one in the app store but if I did it was definitely worth it. I use this app for all editing I do on my phone and use its filters, rather than the ones I used to use in the instagram app.

+ Afterlight : Afterlight allows you to add an overlay shape, or in other words "crop" your photo into a shape. For example, upload a photo and crop it to be circular, triangular, or in the shape of an A, just to name a few. It also has a few editing features but I prefer to edit my photo in a different app before cropping in this one.

+ Over : Ever wondered how people add artwork or text on top of their photo before posting? This app allows you to do both. There are quite a few free artwork and font choices and additional options of each are available for purchase. You can easily change the color or size of whatever you choose to put over your photo before saving it to your camera roll with just one tap.

+ XnView Fx and Camera+: Again, these are 2 apps whose main focus is editing, rather than overlays or special shapes. They offer multiple editing options like soft focus, blur, color changes, or frame options that are fun to play around with. I include them because they both definitely offer editing options that I have never found in other apps, but they are not apps that I use on a daily basis. 

+ InstaSize : I included this one in case there was anyone else out there that didn't know about it. For the longest time I always wondered how people were posting photos to instagram that weren't in a square-shape and this app is your answer. It's free and adds a border to 2 opposing sides of your photos - or if you choose white it just looks like you're uploading a picture that is either a tall rectangle or a long rectangle, instead of a perfect square. Or else you can make the sides a color, pattern, or glitter - and who doesn't love glitter?!

If you take a look at some of my Instagram photos, you will be able to see many of these apps in use! And feel free to ask any questions you may have.

What are your favorite mobile photo apps?

Monday, July 28, 2014

This Is Why I Don't Party + $200 TOMS Giveaway!

I could not be more excited that I really didn't have to come up with any great post content today. In fact I probably wouldn't even be sharing much here today if it weren't for the sweet duds we are giving away below. I feel a little bad saying all of this out loud but really not that bad.

Let's just say the bachelorette party was a success. I was up until 4:15 Saturday night (which is actually more like Sunday morning), pounding the water for the 4th hour in a row, and taking care of a few other chickies that didn't drink quite as much water as me. Now I think I'm more tired today since I got a good night's sleep last night so that should make for a great Monday. And let's face it, I just can't party at 26 years old like I could in college 5 years ago. But fun times were had and now I'm just going to proceed with pictures from the weekend because I'm tired and that's life :)


+++++++++++++

I'm teaming up with some fabulous ladies to give YOU the chance to win a $200 giftcard to TOMS! They have something for everyone from their shoes, to clothing, to eyewear and coffee! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the wonderful ladies who made this possible!





Enter below to win! All entries will be verified. Winner will be chosen in one week and has 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our email. Open to legal residents of USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands who are 18 years or older.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

6 Things I Should Be Doing Instead Of Giving You Free Money

+ Laundry. Like, a week's worth.

+ Probably doing a shot so I can build up my tolerance for the bachelorette party on Saturday night. Speaking of, I need a new pair of shoes.

+ Cleaning. It's almost embarrassing how long it's been.

+ Watching OITNB. Maybe I don't need to be doing that but I sooo want to.

+ Grocery shopping. I think I have 2 apples, 1 yogurt, and some hummus. Mmm-mmm good.

+ Reading blogs. 

Aaaaaand I'm going to go do that last one right now so enjoy the free money below and peace out!

The Samantha Life
Blissful Blonde || The Newlywed Notebook || Becoming Adorrable
A Hundred Tiny Wishes || Near and Far Montana || Queen Jarrell


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

8 Reasons Why I Will Never Leave My Husband

Parker got back yesterday after being gone for 9 days and it was so nice to have him home! I don't mind a little alone time every once in awhile. It can be relaxing to have an evening or two alone to get things done or watch whatever I want. But I certainly don't need nine days alone and I kinda missed the guy.

Which brings me to...

#marriage, #married, #love, #loveandmarriage

1. Who would photobomb my selfies?

2. My dinners were nowhere near as yummy or well-rounded as his. I survived but I am willing to admit that one night I had a piece of toast and fruit.

3. Driving around town, running errands, and grabbing a bite to eat is no fun to do by yourself. Plus, at least you like kind of cool jamming to music with someone else as opposed to alone.

4. Who would take pictures of me? That doesn't sound narcissistic at all but they're for the blog obviously.

5. Morning coffee. If you know me then you know he normally makes the coffee and I wake up to the smell of it brewing so last week was rough. That is all.

6. When he's gone I don't let myself watch Law & Order SVU, CSI, or any other show that might make me lay wide awake in bed on a night I'm home alone. And what kind of life is one without SVU?

7. I like taking care of people and I wouldn't have anyone to take care of. Although, I could get a puppy...

8. He makes me laugh. And so so many more mushy reasons nobody wants to read about :)
Agree or disagree? What do you and your significant other do for each other that you would miss?

I didn't have to make my own coffee this morning and it was absolutely wonderful. Happy Tuesday!

Remember MILESTONE25 gets you 25% off all ad spaces until tonight only!

Monday, July 21, 2014

GOOD FRIENDS


When I say good friends I'm not talking about that blue marg up there. It's just that that's the only picture I took this weekend so obviously it had to grace the blog. And now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure margaritas make friend status since they obviously are there when I need them, support me, and push me to do things I maybe never thought I could do. That is a true friend right there.

This weekend was great, you guys. I mean, way better than I expected since we're now going on day 8 of not seeing Parker. I went home to the lake even though Parker wasn't here - the only crappy part being having to drive nearly 10 hours alone. It was fine because I just jam to music but I'm pretty sure I sometimes end up looking like a crazy loser and that's not going to make me any friends very fast.

A friend of mine came down from Saturday morning until Sunday morning and it was an absolute blast. In fact, it was just what we needed. She needed it because she's a new mom to a 7-month old daughter and nothing relaxes you like sunshine, margaritas, and being at the lake. I needed it because I have missed all our old friends back home so much and there's nothing like talking with an old friend.

An old friend knows your first crush from middle school and talked about him with you all night long while watching the Spice Girls Movie. She was standing next to you on your first day of high school and on your wedding day. In conversations with old friends, there are just some things that don't need to be explained because she already knows. And no matter how much time passes, no matter what hard times, frustrations, or sadness you might go through, good friends will always pick up right where you left off.

We needed some time together to be reminded why old friends can be the best of friends. Moving away, having babies, changing jobs, and so many other things tend to consume our daily lives - as they should because those are big things. But we also have to remember to put our relationships with friends, family, and the people we love and enjoy at the top of our priorities list because moving, having babies, changing jobs and life in general are no fun if you don't have friends to share it with.
Speaking of good friends, 800 followers! I have reached that milestone quickly in the last 2 months without having to be mucho work or expense on my part and I am so grateful. Who ever thought I'd love coming to this space so much? :) Thank you thank you thank you for reading here every week! 

Use code MILESTONE25 to get 25% off any ad spot today and tomorrow only!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Blogmopolitan Feature

Oh hey, Friday. It's so nice to see you again!

Surprisingly my week went by pretty fast, considering I've been a single woman all week. I had to make my own coffee and buy groceries which totally sucked. But I also got to watch as much OITNB as possible and blog-binge without anyone saying anything so that wasn't awful. 

I was able to make our North Dakota Bloggers Network a little more official (see that cool button in my right sidebar over there ----->) so I'm pretty excited about that. If you are a North Dakota blogger be sure to click the button to read about our group and add the button to your blog! :)
Well I missed this party the first few times around but I showed up today to take Erin's Blogmopolitan quiz. I also just realized that I never answered one of the questions - and it was multiple choice, the easiest kind! But I think I looked at it and I really just didn't know what I am. I know I'm definitely not the life of the party and funny so I can eliminate that one. I also don't think I'm outgoing and bubbly - I mean I open up once I know you but I definitely wouldn't say I'm like that around strangers. 

And then there were two. But I don't think I'm either of those either. I think I'm introverted and confident, which obviously wasn't an option so you see my dilemma. I should've just picked (c). That's what everyone said to do in school anyway.


So there you have it. That is, undeniably, me. 

Have you ever thought about how blogging is basically just talking about ourselves every single day, more and more and more? I kind of just realized how self-absorbed of a hobby it is. Oh well, I'll still be back Monday to tell you allll about my weekend ;) Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

10 Things I've Learned Since I Started Blogging

I have learned so much since I started sitting down in front of my MacBook on a daily basis. And I'm not talking about college -- 1) Because I didn't have a MacBook in college and 2) Because I don't think I ever spent as much time in front of a computer in college as I do now as a blogger. Moving on... It seems like I find out something new every day thanks to blogging.


+ Chick-fil-A and In-n-Out Burger are 2 things this ND blogger needs to eat before I die. Doesn't it seem like other bloggers are constantly talking or tweeting about these? I'd add Chipotle to that list but I've already tried that one. Boom. Done.

+ Being a blogger's husband is not easy. From reading blogs to photo shoots to stopping in the parking lot to take a picture, the job of a blogger's husband never ends. I would elaborate but I feel like that's a whole 'nother post-in-the-making.


+ People make money writing. And they get free stuff. I really had no freaking idea. If I did, I probably would've started this whole blogging thing like 10 years ago.

+ A good camera makes the world of a difference. I've always loved photos and photography but did not realize the importance of a good, high-definition camera until I started cropping, enlarging, and editing photos. Hashtag whoah.

+ Social media posts can be scheduledWho'd've thunk? When I first started I remember thinking, how can she possibly be promoting her post or tweeting other people all.day.long? Ohhh silly me. Silly silly silly me.

+ Your e-mail inbox can become a stressful to-do. I'm not going to lie, this is probably one of the most stressful parts of blogging for me. I love the comments and respond as quickly as time allows. I love connecting with others and e-mailing back and forth. I love growing my blog and helping others grow their blog through sponsorship and, therefore, e-mailing about sponsorship requirements. But damn, who ever knew an inbox could become such a large, constant part of my to-do list?

+ A full-size mirror is an absolute necessity. Seriously, you can't live blog without one. 

+ Bloggers use "props" when they take their blog-worthy photos with their fancy-shmancy cameras. I always wondered why other people's photos of food or anything were beautiful and mine were butt-ugly. Then I realized they had perfectly-lit, all-white, contrasting backgrounds. It isn't magic. They use natural light, white foam boards for a backdrop, and cheap dollar-store props for character. Try it - the white foam boards make all the difference. See what I mean?


+ You might have friends (in low places) that you've never met before but whom you think about visiting. Guys, I would totally spend money to travel to see Becca, Mal, AmandaLauren, and so so many more of you. 

+ Blogging is a business. I really, truly, 100 percent just thought it was a hobby. But people buy business cards, network, and attend conference and that makes me even more excited about what this blogging world may bring.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What The World Doesn't Know About North Dakota

I could not have said this better myself. Ashley is a fellow ND blogger who has a way of describing the beautiful, and not-so-beautiful, parts of our state. I totally understand if you think we have funny accents but no running water? C'mon people... :)

This is a guest post written by Ashley of Love & Wrinkles.
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It's truly amazing what the world doesn't know about North Dakota.  I mean, I once had an entire camp's worth of people convinced that I didn't have electricity, running water, or a car.  Might I add that the camp was in Michigan, of all places.  Michigan.  And they think that North Dakota is so desolate?  I digress.

In honor of being featured on the blog of a fellow North Dakotan (who is also a former neighbor of mine...and by the way, sorry about the incident with all the water in the foyer in high school.  Yes, it was me and my friend Sarah who decided to wake your brother and Winks up from a nap with squirt guns...oops.), I figured we should clear some things up.


First and foremost, I'd like to address the Canadian accents so brilliantly portrayed as ND in the movie Fargo.  I mean seriously.  Sure, we pronounce some words a little "funny" according to the rest of the world (the most common being the pronunciation of both our state's name and NDSU's mascot, and, of course, bag), but wasn't there some study once that said the Midwest has the least apparent accent of anyone?  We'll run with it.  And based off of that, we're right.  But if you think we're Canadians, obviously your perception is going to be skewed.

Winter.  It is long, and cold, and awful, but it's not the only season and is no reason to completely avoid the state altogether.  We do have spring (also known on a semi-regular basis as flood season), fall is gorgeous, and summer is prime time lake season with tons of options for water recreation.  Furthermore, winter really is only November through March (most of the time), so the other seasons do make up more of the year than the cold one, regardless of how marginal the victory may be.

We may not have professional sports, but the college rivalries make what we do have just as fun.  The University of North Dakota's hockey team is consistently a nationally-ranked squad, and it's worth mentioning that the Ralph Engelstad Arena that they call home is basically the Taj Mahal of hockey.  Both professional and amateur.  And North Dakota State's football team are back-to-back national champs and always a good time to watch.  Plus tailgating, while it does not rival the SEC, has all sorts of shenanigans to take part in.

The lack of electricity, cars, running water, heat...all horrendously untrue, even in the most remote parts of the state.  And for the record, the city with the smallest population nationwide is actually in Wyoming.  Despite the fact that we have moved into 2014 with the rest of the world, it is still relatively easy to convince people that none of these things exist in North Dakota.

There is more here than corn.  Like wheat, duh.  But also lake and badlands and oil fields.  Not very many trees, but hey, ya win some ya lose some.

There is also more to do here than drink, although it does make winter pass a little faster.  Aside from the Eastern half of the state's relative flatness (and I probably don't even need to include relative in that statement), it's an outdoorsman's paradise.  Plenty of hunting and fishing to do as well as hiking out west.  Many people have horses.  And if you can manage to maintain your marathon training program outdoors during the winter, you are most definitely a badass.

And most importantly North Dakota nice really is a thing...an almost indescribable thing.  One where mass amounts of people show up in your neighborhood unasked to help throw millions of 40-lb sandbags to protect your house from a river.  One where people from out of the state who take the plunge and visit actually enjoy coming back.  One where people don't take the last brownie from the pan because they don't want to be the person who takes the last one and prevent someone else from having it.  One where rush hour does not equal thousands of honked horns, middle fingers, and profanities.  North Dakota nice makes it a beautiful place and one that I will always call home.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Post Is Basically Going Nowhere


We had another installment in the shower the future bride continuously with gifts series and attended shower numero dos for my future sister-in-law on Saturday. We were just guests and not hostesses for this one which was a nice change of pace. Food tends to taste better I think when you didn't have to do any work yourself to prepare it and I was loving the egg bake, fruit cups, and mimosas. I have also been loving my denim vest, which I have worn 3 days in a row now. I'm still thinking about going for day 4 and wearing it again today but we'll see how that pans out.

Speaking of showers I just remembered I never shared any pictures (except for this one teeny little post) of the personal shower my mom and I hosted a few weeks ago. Apparently follow-through is not one of my strong suits during the summer months. 

In other weekend news I went on a pontoon ride, drank a margarita, went water-skiing for my first time this year, saw my friend for coffee, held her baby, went to an open house, and Parker left for NY for a week. 

Now here's a question: if you're able to summarize your entire weekend in just one sentence are you effective or lame? Let's end on that note since this post is basically going nowhere. What can you expect? It's Monday morning and my brain is still warming up for the week.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I DON'T DO WELL WITH PEER P R E S S U R E

wahoo! this week flew by since we had monday off so today it's friday but it really feels like thursday. in fact, yesterday i thought it was wednesday until about mid-morning so that was a nice surprise. except for the part where i had a conference call scheduled that i completely was thinking was the next day. oops.

parker leaves for new york on sunday and no i'm not going - he's going for hockey for like the fifth time in his 24 years of existence. for the record, i've never been to new york. we'll head to the lake tonight and he flies out of fargo on sunday. 

but for now, let's talk about some of my current favorites....


| favorite s h o w |
if there's one thing i've learned about myself it's that i don't do well with peer pressure. so last night i finally hopped on this Orange Is The New Black bandwagon because i was constantly scrolling through my twitter feed and feeling left out. i'm 2 episodes down and hooked! although, i did see more ta-tas in those 100 minutes than i think i've ever seen in my entire life.

| favorite p r o d u c t |
dove hairspray. it is hands down better than any "drugstore"/non-salon hairspray i've ever used. it holds nice, doesn't get crusty, and makes me want to smell my own hair all day long.

| favorite s n a c k |
popsicles. more specifically, Edy's fruit bars. mmm mmm good. 

| favorite b o o k |
here's the thing, i haven't even read one sentence out of a real, paper, non-electronic book since march. it's so sad because i love reading but haven't made time at all in the past few months. next on my reading list is divergent, again because i feel left out of the Divergent bandwagon too :) but on the other hand, i kind of just want to re-read one of my favorites to get back in the swing of things. i'm a series lover and without question my favorites are Harry Potter and Fifty Shades. i know - whoa, talk about two different genres right there...

| favorite q u o t e |
wherever you are, be all there. such a great reminder.
now i need to go pack that book (among other things) for the weekend. have a good one - peace out peeps.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Because You're My Friend... [Cocktail Recipe]

Because you're my friend... I knew I needed to share this cocktail recipe with you (again - in case you missed it the first time) because it is perfect for this time of year. Just combine the first 3 ingredients then fill your glass with equal parts of the 2 juices. You'll thank me after your first sip. Just in time for Thirsty Thursday or your weekend shenanigans.


Because you're my friend... I kind of want to brag that I figured out how to customize my pin-it hover button last night- you know, that magical button that appears when you hover over any of my blog images. It lets you pin that image directly to your Pinterest account for future reference. When I told Parker about my excitement he really just didn't understand, nor care that much, but I knew you'd understand :)

Because you're my friend... You should try out that pin-it hover button I was just bragging about and pin that baby up there to your Recipes board. Then you will never lose it and maybe it'll go viral or something.

Because you're my friend... you would listen when I tell you about how great last weekend was and how I probably shouldn't have had those jello shots. But they were festive. #yolo

Because you're my friend... you would understand that I can't remember the last time we cleaned our apartment. It's just not in our top 3 priorities right now I guess. Weekends at the lake, grocery shopping so we don't starve, and taking a shower are just taking precedence lately I guess and there's only so much time in a day. 

Ok, we are totally friends right? I kind of just made that assumption and if we're not, don't even think about attempting to make that cocktail ;)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MEMORIZE

I can look at a photograph and get transported back to the time and place it was taken. I'm reminded of what every one of my senses was feeling at the time. 

Sometimes it makes me feel sad, like when I look at the photograph of my grandma and grandpa in the church pew on my wedding day and remember his smile. 

Sometimes it makes me laugh because it was so important to me to wear the bandana-inspired tank top to my 10th-grade Sadie Hawkins dance. 

Sometimes, a certain photo just makes me feel good, healthy, and happy:


I took this last Thursday night. We had just scarfed down some ham sandwiches in my mom and dad's kitchen and raced to get out on the water. I remember it feeling so hectic while standing in that kitchen because we were all just itching to get out there and start the long weekend off right. 

That first sip of my cold beer tasted so good, most likely because I was drinking it on a boat. I mean, I think everything is just better on a boat. It was the evening sun that was shining by this point in the day but my skin felt so warm - not too hot like it sometimes does at 3:00 on an August afternoon, but just the right amount of warm.

Not only do I remember all the laughter I was hearing, but I can feel the laughter coming from myself that was making my cheeks ache. And the skin on my face started to feel tired from looking into the wind while we were driving 25 mph. Just looking at the water was making me forget the stress of a work week and was very quickly calming my soul.

I remember taking this picture mid-sunset and feeling shocked how fast it seemed to be going down. We wanted more time. This was our first night and we weren't ready to get off the water anytime soon. I grabbed my iPhone so I could snap a quick picture of Parker floating with his wakeboard in the water. I felt so proud that he was my husband, fitting right into the lake life that I grew up with like he grew up there, too. 

I felt so lucky that the people making me laugh and feel good were my very own husband, brother, future sister, and a few friends. How did I ever get this lucky? I said a quick little prayer, just to say thanks.

I hope these memories don't slip away or fade with time because this is the stuff that life is all about. These are the feelings that I want to memorize. Thank God I snapped this quick photo so that I can treasure all the memories that were made before the sun slipped beneath the horizon.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Thing About Good Things

See, the thing about good things is exactly like the saying says: All good things must come to an end. Because if they never end, then you never really know and appreciate the good things in the midst of them. You feel me?

If I ate homemade chocolate chip cookies 24/7 for every single meal I'd probably get sick of them. Wine wouldn't taste as good if we drank it all day long. And we'd probably get sick of weekends if it was always the weekend. Maybe none of these things are true but this is what I tell myself to keep from getting depressed on Sundays at the start of another work week in the summer.

Aaaaand I just remembered it's not Sunday. Welcome back to reality, Sam.

We had a great 4-day weekend (had today off) spent at the lake with family and friends. In our little world summer mini-vacations are all about being on the water, wake-boarding, summer cocktails, laying in the sun, and spending time with our people. We basically checked all these things off our list this weekend (multiple times) and couldn't have done it any better.

So because in my little world it's still Sunday, it's time for the pictures of the weekend to take this blog post away. Also, I was horrible and didn't take one photo with my nice camera so sorry about that.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, America! | A Mini-Vacay


We were able to get out of work early yesterday and get our 5-hour drive started by 2:15. So at about 7:00 we bombed into my parents, scarfed some food, carried down the cooler, and squeezed in a beautiful evening on the boat. The boys wakeboarded and surfed and the girls? Well, we just go along for the ride. We like to call ourselves boat candy :)

We went to bed with the windows open and fell asleep listening to the breeze rustling through the oak tree leaves. Oh, and there was that boat partying on the lake and rocking out to Shania Twain, The Backstreet Boys, and any other hit from the 90s that added to the nighttime noises as well. 

And we still get 4.more.days. of this. We'll be spending today and the weekend at the lake, hanging out with both of our families, and basically enjoying a mini-vacay - no schedule, no plans, and no to-dos. Well, except that right now I really just need to go pour myself a cup of coffee.

I might be back with a post Monday, or else it might be Tuesday. I'm just going to go with the flow and see where the sunshine, homemade margs, and country music take me. 

What are your plans for the fourth?!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY: Glitter Letters {Bridal Shower Decor}

When in doubt, add glitter. At least that was our mantra when planning the decor for the bridal shower my mom and I hosted for my brother's fiancee.

We were browsing Pinterest for months to get a little inspiration for the decor ideas we wanted to use. That's when I found this pin but it didn't have any instructions on how it was made so I just kind of gave it a whirl. And if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn good - and it was easy.


Here's what you need:
Wooden (or 3-dimensional paper mache) letters
Loose glitter
Mod-podge & paintbrush or sponge
High-gloss clear acrylic finishing spray
Materials to hang/display your letters
Ribbon

Step 1: Paint the mod-podge onto the letter. Sprinkle loose glitter to achieve the coverage you'd like. Let stand for a minute, then shake off the excess. Repeat with each letter.

Step 2: Seal in the glitter with a high-gloss clear acrylic finishing spray. Spray 2 coats and let stand overnight. By the next morning you should be able to touch the letters without glitterizing your fingertips.

Step 3: This step differs depending on how you plan to use your super-sparkly letters. I wanted them as a door sign so we actually stapled the long piece of ribbon along the back to a 1x3 board. Then we nailed each letter to the board and used a wreath hanger to hang it from the door.

Step 4: Tie a bow to each letter for a pretty extra detail.

Voila! And as I say after every diy project I share: If I can do it, you can do it. Seriously. I do not have an extra crafty bone or diy talent by any means. The only hard part about this project was the fact that I kind of ended up with glitter everywhere, which is why this is a horrible photo-less tutorial. I mean, can something even be a tutorial if there are not photos as a part of the step-by-step process?

Most importantly, the bride liked it :)


Do not underestimate the power of glitter. You could probably take the ugliest thing you could possibly find, add glitter, and it would be spectacular.

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These are some of my other favorite diy projects:
Jewelry Frame
Headboard
Pretty Labels

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life Lately: Our Version of Exciting News


I was kind of thinking I haven't just shared about our life lately - you know, all that stuff that bloggers do when they're not sitting at their computer or taking a picture of their cocktail. Plus, I kind of hinted towards some things the week before last when I had a little mini-celebration that left me feeling like crap the next day. And one of my hopes & plans yesterday was to start organizing and packing up our storage closet. 

That's because we are moving!!! And I couldn't be more excited! It will be 2 years this coming October since we moved 4 hours away from our hometown, Fargo. {That's actually when I started this here bloggy-blog.} Neither of us had lived anywhere other than Fargo for the majority of our lives but we had a work opportunity that picked up our newlywed home and moved it 4 hours to the West. 

I have missed my family and friends like crazy, felt a few pangs of loneliness and jealousy, and have been looking forward to moving back to Fargo for months. Were these past almost-2-years a great learning experience? Absolutely. Parker and I have learned so much about life and each other since we only had each other to depend on. We have both gained confidence in ourselves and our jobs in ways that never would have happened if we hadn't made this move. 

If I could go back in time there is no doubt that I would do all of this again. But that doesn't mean that I'm not super excited to move back in November. And by super excited I mean that I might make a chain of construction paper rings to hang up around our apartment and get this countdown started :)

And not only that, but I have a job when we move back!!! And I couldn't be more excited about that either! I will be a Project Manager for the same company I work for now and will head up the transition into a new computer system - planning, scheduling, and training are something that this Math Education major is really looking forward to. See what I mean about our version of exciting news? We're not having a baby and we didn't buy a house, but this is big for us.

It's funny how life can seem so uncertain and then, when you least expect it, things just start falling into place. I guess it just means that we need to trust that someone has a plan for us and won't let us down. Now I think I need to go start cutting construction paper to make this Countdown Chain. I will definitely try to enjoy the next few months until the big move in November, but I am so excited to get started on our next adventure.

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