Friday, November 6, 2015

Things to Consider Before Heading to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

I know this isn't technically a wedding blog, but I just have to share what's been going on in wedding world over here. We just got our engagement pictures back and are absolutely in love with them! I received a lot of tips and tricks from friends, family, and blogs before the shoot and was really thankful for some of the advice. Take a peek at a few of our favorite photos and keep reading for a few things to think about before getting in front of the camera.

Things to Consider Before your Engagement Photo Shoot

Get your hair cut and colored

 A fresh 'do is always a great idea before you get in front of the camera. The new color and cut will look polished and fresh making you look extra great. Try to get to the salon about 2-3 weeks before the shoot.

He might be way uncomfortable with this whole thing

If ya got a shy guy on your hands, just roll with it. It's not everyday you take kissing pics with your significant other while a random person documents your every move on camera. Nic nervously laughed for the first 20 minutes until he got comfortable. We actually got quite a few great candid shots because of it.

Pick outfits that are weather appropriate

If you are taking your engagement pictures in the cold, dress for the cold. Engagement pictures can take a couple hours and you don't want to look uncomfortable in every shot. It was pretty chilly for our shoot, so I was really glad we were wearing sweaters and jackets.

Pick inspirational engagement photos and share them with your photographer

This one should be easy. You most likely already have a ton of inspirational pics on Pinterest, so be sure to share them with your photographer. If you haven't collected ideas yet, here are some of mine:

What are some of your tips for brides-to-be on engagement photo day?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wedding Bells - I'm Getting Married! (+ Proposal Video)

I've been told I'm impossible to surprise, that I'm a little nosy, and that I have a knack for being a little too curious. (What can I say? I like to know things…) Turns out, my nosiness was a bit of a challenge when it came to proposing to me.  Somehow, Nic pulled off the surprise of a lifetime and I’m excited to share the story of my utter shock and excitement at the Butler bell tower last Monday.

engagement pic

Butler university bell tower proposal

Let’s rewind back to freshman year of college at Butler University. 

During my first week of school, I participated in many tours around campus - one of which I remember pretty vividly. My RA led a group of girls past Holcomb Gardens and the Butler bell tower sharing information about each place. She explained that there was a little legend surrounding the bell tower. It was said that if you kissed your significant other under the tower and the bell rang, it meant you were destined to be with that person forever.

The next time Nic came to visit, we decided to test that tale. We marched up those stairs and quickly kissed under the tower before anyone could see us. Surprisingly, the bell tower rang out with a loud clang that sounded out across campus.

You should have seen Nic's face. I would've describe it as a combination of amazement and shock. I'm sure mine was the same. From then on he would jokingly say, "You're stuck with me babe. The bell did ring, you know."   

Fast forward 6 years to present.

Engagement is a hot topic in our world. Friends are getting married and I’m constantly rambling on about “our wedding someday". Not to mention, we were attending friends' weddings almost every weekend. (Cue embarrassing pictures of me trying to catch  the bouquet...)

catch the bouquet

catching the bouquet

There are more, but I'll stick with two for now. It was pretty clear, my mind was on engagement and I needed to be really thrown off guard if I was going to be surprised by a proposal. (Oops)

About a month ago, I signed up for a 10K and have been training with my old college roommate, Bridget. On September 28, 2015 I was prepared for a long, strenuous run up and down the Butler bell tower steps to prepare for the race. Instead, I got the surprise of a lifetime. I'll let the video show the rest.

I was shocked. Just in awe that he had pulled off such an amazing proposal.

Afterwards, as we walked back up the stairs, he explained why he proposed that day. His grandpa had passed away a few months before, and September 28 would have been his birthday. I just balled. Like a baby.

How thoughtful?

I am beyond blown away and so excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Cheers to wedding planning over this next year!

radiant cut engagement ring

What can I say, the bell did ring.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

5 Ways to Sneak Kale into your Diet

Okay so here's the short version of my relationship with kale: I hear kale is a healthy superfood, I attempt to eat it, I don't like the taste of it, I find sneaky ways to get it into my diet.

kale recipes

After trying kale for the very first time, I didn't exactly understand what all the fuss was about...until I looked up the nutrition facts (featured below courtesy of  good 'ole Google). Kale is a great source of protein and potassium while having a pretty low calorie count. Not to mention, it's jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants. So I got creative. Yes, you can try to choke down kale soup, but here are a few sneaky ways to get kale into your diet while still pleasing the palate.

  1. Amount Per 

    Calories 33
  2. % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.6 g0%
    Saturated fat 0.1 g0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 25 mg1%
    Potassium 329 mg9%
    Total Carbohydrate 6 g2%
    Protein 2.9 g5%
    Vitamin A133%Vitamin C134%
    Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-610%
    Vitamin B-120%Magnesium7%

Grilled Cheese and Kale

Okay, it sounds weird, but when it's melted in with cheese you can hardly taste the kale at all! I know grilled cheese doesn't sound like the healthiest option, but if you grab some whole wheat bread and low-fat cheddar cheese, you are good to go. Don't forget to chop off the kale stems first.

Mini Kale Breakfast Quiche

For this one, chop up 1 ounce of baby kale and throw it into a mixture of eggs, onions, tomatoes, and a little sharp cheddar cheese. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, pour the contents into a muffin tin, and bake 18 minutes for mini breakfast delights.

Kale Smoothies

This is one of my favorite ways to get in a large serving of kale without ever tasting it. I've tried a few different recipes but my favorite has to be a mix of Greek yogurt, bananas, strawberries, lemon juice, and skim milk with a full cup of kale.

Mixed Kale Salad

This one is pretty simple. Add a little bit of baby kale to your salad or  mixed greens for a tender, flavorful salad.

Kale Muffins

I haven't actually tried this one, but the recipe looks really delicious. Just chop baby kale and add it  into the mixture of other healthy ingredients like oats and flax seed. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite ways to sneak kale into your weekly diet?

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This Year's Fall Favorite Essentials

Happy fall, everybody! Fall is absolutely my favorite season of all time. Whether it's the smell of burning leaves, crisp air or beautiful scenery, I'm thrilled when September rolls around. It's been that way for as long as I can remember. Recently, I've stumbled across a couple of things that have made fall truly feel like fall here in Indianapolis. Pumpkin spice lattes, candles that smell like cinnamon, and new nail colors are just a few of my fall favorite essentials this year. 

Fall favorite essentials

Autumn Wreath

Fall decor is one of those essentials that's pretty hard to pass up. We've had the same "Welcome" wreath on our front door for the past year and I just couldn't pass on the opportunity to swap it our for a fall one. I love coming home to a festively decorated front door. It truly puts you is a fall mood.


Oh yes - this one is a given. When I learned Starbucks was changing their pumpkin spice latte recipe, I was slightly nervous. After giving it a try, I have to say I'm a fan. Not to mention the iced version is uh-maz-ing. The flavor seems to be more bold and spicy. Fall favorite? I think yes.

Essie Wicked Nail Polish

I'm going to be in a wedding this weekend and the colors are gold, burgundy, and navy blue. I wanted a deep red nail color to complement my gold dress and discovered Wicked. This color is a must-have for fall. Obsessed!

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless

I usually buy MAC foundation for everyday wear, but found myself browsing the makeup aisle at Target when I ran out this time around. I needed something that wasn't super heavy and made my skin look clean and fresh. I picked this one to try and it's become one of my fall favs. Not only did they have the shade I needed, (my skin color is close to translucent) but the matte element gave me a finished look with just a couple sweeps across my face.

Pumpkin Spice Candle

There is nothing better than lighting a candle on fall weekends transforming your house into a cinnamon-infused autumn wonderland. Pumpkin spice candles make fall the best season of the year.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

During fall and winter my skin starts to dry out and break out. This year I grabbed Cetaphil at my local grocery store and started using it in the morning and at night to cleanse and hydrate.  I absolutely love it. It cleans without drying and truly has helped reduce my breakouts. You can pick it up at a drug store for less than $15. This one is definitely a fall essential.

What are some of your absolute must-haves for fall this year?

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Race Update + 10K Training Guide

Happy Monday! I have a bit of an exciting update to share this morning. I've decided to run a 10K as a part of the Red, White & Rosé Wine Run Series. That's right. 6.2 miles of pure pain and suffering followed by the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and, of course, a tall glass of wine. On November 14th, a few friends and I will be taking on the cold air and beautiful trails surrounding the Butler Winery along Lake Lemon.

Race day is about 8 weeks away and I had to put together a training guide if I wanted to run over 6 miles. I've never ran more than 4 miles at a time in my life, EVER! After running a few 5K races, I have an idea of what the race will entail. However, those 5K's didn't require much prep considering they involved beer sampling every few minutes. This time around, it's going to be a major challenge that will require a bit of planning. 

I created a 10K training plan to help me be race ready in 8 weeks. Based on this novice program, my plan includes a series of weekly runs as well as strength and cross training. At this point,  I've completed my first week of training and am super sore. The good kind of sore though. The kind of sore that feels amazing when you wake up in the morning, and kills when you attempt to go down any set of stairs. I'm excited to see how far I can push myself and can't wait to see how beautiful the scenery will be this November.

Map of Butler Winery 10k race

There's still time to sign up! If you live in Indiana and want to participate in the Red, White & Rosé Wine Run Series, head over to to view race dates and locations. Oh! Use code SAVE20155 to save a few bucks on the registration fee. Happy running!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

This Week's Healthy Dinner Inspiration

Monday flew by! How often can you say that? I've been running around all day like a mad person trying to catch up on weekly duties. To give you  a mental picture, I actually put together a grocery list while walking on the treadmill at the gym today...multitasking at it's finest. Usually Sunday is grocery day, but we were out of town this weekend and got off to a late start. While I was "listing" I realized every week I'm looking to Pinterest for inspiration for healthy meals. Sometimes coming up with a weekly dinner plan can be daunting, so I thought I'd share mine. Here's my dinner inspiration for the week. Happy healthy eating! (Except for Tuesday. Tuesday is catch-up-with-the-bestie-taco-and-margs night.)


Sausage & Pepper Pasta

two peas & their pod


No Cooking - Mexican Food Date Night : )


Stuffed Peppers

Cooking Classy


Ocean Cod & Veggies

Julia's Album


Lemon Pepper Chicken

Averie Cooks

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Meet Ruxin + Puppy Adoption Tips

I am very excited to introduce a new member of the fam, Ruxin! On Sunday, July 26 , Nic and I wondered into the humane society in Indianapolis and fell in love with a little 2-month-old pit bull terrier. That little pup grasped on to my shoulder like he never wanted to be let go. And that was it -  I was sold. I got the tingles and everything. Of course, adopting a little pit bull puppy wasn't a spur of the moment decision, it had been a topic of conversation for quite some time. We had been warned of all kinds of puppy traits and were well aware of the pit bull reputation. After lots of discussion and research, we decided to take the plunge and are so incredibly happy we did.

adopt pit bull

sleeping pit bull puppy

pit bull puppy adopted

 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Puppy

What does your immediate future look like?
One of the first things the adoption counselor as us was if we had any major lifestyle changes coming up in the near future. This included things like a joAdopting a new puppy is an incredibly exciting event in your life. Here are a few things to consider before adopting your new furry member of the family.

The sleep thing...
Yeah, so, um you basically have an infant on your hands.This is probably one of the harder transitions I've had to make these past couple weeks.  To determine how often your puppy will need to go out during the night, take the age of your puppy in months and add one. Ruxin needs to go out about every three hours of the night give or take. In other words, Starbucks has become my very best friend.

What's your game plan for the work day?
Since the pup needs to potty every few hours, it's crucial to have a strategy for the work day. Luckily, Nic and I have flexible work schedules and can stagger our lunches to walk the dog every three hours. If you aren't able to come home, try asking a family member or friend to take out your puppy.

Prepare to be overwhelmed with joy!
When you welcome a puppy into your home, your heart will be filled with absolute warmth and happiness. Ruxin has been a little ray of sunshine in our lives and we can't wait to continue to make memories with him.

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