30 Day Challenge

I love reading blogs. There are so many great stories, recipes, and words of wisdom that people share. I am going to try a 30 day challenge to get myself blogging again. I've seen others do this and I find it fun to read.

Day 1 of the challenge:
Post a recent picture of yourself and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Bear and I at the Oxford Christmas parade. It was FREEZING out, but we got a great view with friends on the balcony at a downtown restaurant.

15 Interesting facts:

1) I loved working Trauma. The most rewarding feeling is helping someone go from a traumatic event back to life, and then back to normalcy. Sometimes it doesn't always happen that way, but coming together as a trauma team and working like mad to save a person is one of the best feelings ever.

2) I was born in Saudi Arabia. My dad travels a lot with his company and we happened to be in Saudi at that point. (Yes, I am an American citizen)

3) I was one of 150 out of 8,000 to be picked for American Idol tryouts in the 2nd season. I tried out in Houston and sang Alicia Keys "Lovin' you". It was one of my best tryouts. The next day, I got super nervous when I tried out for producers and I wasn't picked. I never tried out again.

4) I LOVE LSU. If you know me, everything can be related to LSU football. If you're wearing purple, I will try to get you to wear gold accessories. I secretly hope that one day Bear will snag a position there.

5) I love making new friends, but miss Louisiana. No matter where I live (D.C., FL, and MS as of the past 3-4 years) I always go back to Louisiana and think, THIS is home. Because well, it is.

6) I have broken 2 bones so far in life. I broke my wrist in my teens doing some fancy rollerblading work, and I also broke my coccyx. Basically, I broke my butt bone. Worst pain ever. Pain meds make me feel nauseated/sick, so I laid in bed for 6 weeks until I could sit up. I then had to bring my ultra cool doughnut pillow (whom I affectionately named Justin-Bobby) everywhere for months.

7) I can play 4 instruments. (nerd)

8) I taught a weight management class and still LOVE nutrition. I have tons of recipes that use alternate ingredients to make it healthier. I have a passion to help people learn more about how what you eat affects your mind and body.

9) I helped write a legacy document regarding healthier lifestyles for President Bush during an internship I did at the Department of Health and Human Services in D.C.

10) I love buying presents for people. This dates way back to the time I took my mom and dad's gold necklaces to school. I kept one and gave the other to a friend. You know, as a best friend necklace. Needless to say mom had to come up to school to get that back. I also called QVC when I was 10 years old with a pile of change in front of me. I asked them if they had any jewelry available. It was my mom's birthday and I told her that I would CAREFULLY count the change to make sure I had enough. She told me to call back when I was 18. Rude.

11) I am a morning person. I love 5-6 AM, and I work the best from 5-8 AM. I am usually in bed by 9pm. When I was younger (until about 18) I was the total opposite.

12) My cars name is Bonqueisha. My friends named my last car Bonqueisha, and I guess the name carried over.

13) I am the worst person EVER with directions. I rank dead-last in people who can find their way to places. I have to go there at least 23 times before I can remember it without nervously clutching directions in my hands. If my gut tells me to take a right, I know that I should go left.

14) My wedding is 37 days away.

15) I want to start my own charity/grassroots organization one day. I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I have always wanted to do it.

I'll be back tomorrow with day 2. May this rev my blogging engine!


Bridal Make-Up

I know many girls who have had amazing make-up at their weddings. I am talking the kind of make-up that 8 hours after application, their faces look flawless.
Recently, I've been gathering make-up looks for my wedding day.

Since it is one of the most photographed days of a woman's life, Many think it would be appropriate to hire a professional to make them look glam.
I am hiring the same professional that my big sis in Phi Mu had. Her look was truly red-carpet worthy.

If you don't have the extra money to spend on a make-up artist, or just want to try your hand at creating an amazing evening look, search no more.

Kandee Johnson, a fabulous makeup artist, gives you a step-by-step on how to apply your makeup for your wedding night without the use of airbrushes. Also in this video you will find tricks to contouring and shading your face. She even had some tricks up her sleeve for a nice smoky eye. Hello, who doesn't love a smoky eye?

Even if you're not getting married soon or are already married this video is worth the watch.
After all, who knows when the next glamorous night on the town will be?


Will the real bridesmaid dress please stand up?

"The dress looks so much cuter in person" I would say to my bridesmaids. "It has a bigger bow than the picture shows, and you actually tie it on your shoulder! See how it can be tied in a bow?" Little did I know, I was showing my bridesmaids the wrong dress.
Most of my bridesmaids called in their measurements to save a trip to New Orleans, so no one knew any different.
Here's how it went down.
The other day my future sister-in-law called to mention that she thought the sales associate was confused about my bridesmaid dress style number. "I told them AV 9947 and they got so confused!" she told me. So while I was running errands today, I decided to call the bridal shop to get some clarification.
I had the style number memorized, so I spewed it off to the owner who just so happened to pick up the phone.
"We don't carry that line here", the store owner said.
"?!?!?" I thought.
I saw the dress in person and it looked like the pictures I'd been sending everyone. Clearly, I was confused. He then told me the style number he had and I looked it up.
Whoa. I was wrong about the style number the whole time! Though they have similarities, they were TWO different dresses. There was a reason I kept thinking it looked so much cuter in person. It wasn't even the same dress!

A couple girls wanted to buy the gown from a different retailer. I was fine with that as long as the dress came in on time and it was the same dress. I am SO glad no one ended up doing that.

Ooops. Bridal fail!!

** The dress pictured in this post is the CORRECT dress. Whew!



I really have no excuse. I am pretty disciplined in every area of my life except blogging. I always say I'm going to do it and keep it updated, but that rarely happens. Maybe having more free time will allow me to blog more. For now, I will call it a "Blogger-nation". It's a hybrid mix of blogging and hibernation. For those of you who know me, you know I am pretty excited about my upcoming wedding. I love planning all of the little details.
I wanted to share with you some of those details I have chosen.


I love flowers with lush, full blooms. I also love southern culture. When I walk around my hometown, I see houses lined in hydrangeas. That is why I chose white hydrangeas for my bridesmaids. Simple, yet beautiful and full.

[via bloomery weddings]

I REALLY wanted Peonies for my bouquet and I considered cabbage roses/garden roses as an alternative (they look like cousins). Unfortunately, they are not in season and if we imported them from somewhere else we would run the risk of a delivery of lack luster blooms. Not OK.

After I cried myself to sleep for several nights about the peonies, I chose a bouquet similar to the bridesmaids with a little more green and flower variety.
(No, I didn't really cry myself to sleep. I dried my tears before going to bed. I speak sarcasm.)

For the cake, I wanted something classy and simple. Are you starting to see a trend here? If not, keep reading. I am positive you will catch on. I am always drawn to simple designs with elegant details. I have a wonderful friend from high school whose mom makes unbelievable cakes, and she is going to make the most delicious and beautiful cake ever. Mark my words, and underline them.

Check out her cake designs at The Pastry Bag if you are ever in Louisiana and find yourself in great need for a gorgeous cake.

My Bridesmaids will be wearing long black Jim Hjelm dresses. When I was trying on bridal gowns, some of my lovely bridesmaids asked me what I thought about a one shoulder dress. I love symmetry, so I kind of brushed it off. [Side Note: This is when my ADD comes in handy. They don't take offense to me brushing things off because they know I get easily distracted. There are lots of shiny things in bridal stores. Trust me.] When they brought this dress to me I knew those were the dresses they'd be wearing. We all loved them. The bow can be adjusted to wear on the shoulder or near the bust of the dress. It is universally flattering and it passed the dancing tests.

I would like to formally introduce you to my new beautiful bridal shoes. When I got them in the mail, I dropped everything else I was holding and carefully opened the box. If someone would have filmed me opening the box, it would probably look pretty pathetic and hilarious at the same time. I felt like I won the Kate Spade lottery. I carefully peeled back the sticker and each layer of tissue paper like I was trying to hide the evidence. Truthfully, I just loved the wrapping. The dustbag was even cute.
Have I mentioned I love Kate Spade?

Here they are. Prepare to be amazed.

They are the perfect heel height, classy, and would you look at that little bow? Love.

One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Brandi is designing and printing my invitations. When I get one of those I will give you a sneak peek! She is a graphic designer and blows my mind with her creativity.

The Dress:

You know I will not be posting my dress on here until after the wedding! But I will say that I can't stop thinking about it since I ordered it 2 months ago. I've shown all my best friends but Bear, and I want it to remain a surprise until I walk down the aisle. My taste in dresses have dramatically changed over the years. When I was younger I liked the designs that today I would look at and think "DISASTER".

These details are by far the most fun things I have planned so far.
I also LOVE shopping for my bridesmaids.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Were you a hands on bride, or would you have liked someone else to take care of everything?


Oh, Baby!!!

Bear & I are not planning on having a baby until at least 2-3 years after we're married. That being said, there are millions of people around me getting pregnant every day. (Ok, I may have exaggerated a little, but it sure feels like it!)

Two of my closest friends in nursing school are both having baby boys and I have the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for them next weekend. It will be my first time hosting, and I love every minute of the planning process!

I sent the e-vites and purchased all of the decor.
Partypail.com has some really, really cute themes for showers at very reasonable prices. The theme we are using includes the images on this post.
(Neither of them read this, so I feel safe posting these pictures)
I've been to a few baby showers before, but I need some input.

-Does anyone have ideas on prize ideas/favors? (Think: limited budget)
-Are there any games that you really loved/disliked at a past baby shower??

Please do share!


More race pictures...

I said I would post more pictures from the race- here they are! (Totally out of order, but they're a pain in the glute to re-arrange.)
I may actually have to sell my kidney (I need my arm/leg) to purchase an official race picture, but it would be totally worth it, right?


Becoming a Registered Nurse...

[Image via]

The next few weeks are going to be the most exciting and exhausting few weeks in my life thus far.

  • I have 3 huge exams this week. (& also had one this past Friday)
  • Since I am on the Pinning Committee and the NSA Board, I will be helping plan the ceremony.
  • Two of my best nursing school buddies are pregnant (with bouncing boys!), and Carla and I are planning a shower in their honor.
  • In April, Board members will be going to the National Student Nurses Association convention in Disney for the weekend.
  • Also in April, I'll be completing a preceptorship in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit for 4 weeks.
  • In the beginning of May, I (along with other nursing students) will be teaching local 4th graders a smoking cessation class.
  • We also have pictures to take, programs to put together, and NCLEX Board exams to prepare for.

  • In 45 days, I will have finished nursing school and be "pinned" (it's our version of graduation that dates back to the Florence Nightengale era).
  • In 47 days I will be putting my boxes in the U-Haul and moving to Oxford with my Fiance. (SO EXCITED!!!!)

Ahhhh.. The countdown is ON.