Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vintage Dress + HUGE GIVEAWAY (17 Winners)

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people just exist."

-Oscar Wilde







Left to Right + Top to Bottom 
Abby | Jalynn | Jody | Stevi | Me | Jessi | Katelin | Ariel Lauren |


| Vintage Dress + Hair Flower Combs + Styling: Miss Stevi Marie | Heels: Nine West | Makeup: Emily Rose | Hair: Lovely Locks & Darling Dyes | Photos by: Kali Poulsen Photography

This is definitely one of the most fun photoshoots I've ever had the opportunity to be part of!  Miss Stevi Marie was absolutely amazing at finding the perfect vintage dresses for each girl and all of her accessories from her store make you feel like you are living in a dream where girls regularly wear flowers in their hair.  Seriously, everything from her store is so pretty you will make sure you find places to wear her flower combs and crowns!

Also, don't miss this awesome giveaway to celebrate Lauryncakes.com hitting her ONE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY!

We have all teamed up with some of the best companies with both great customer service and quality products to have 17 winners and over $1000 in prizes.  Now that is a party!
Just enter the giveaway below through the Rafflecopter.  It is easy to get entries, and Rafflecopter never spams your email.  The giveaway will end December 24th at midnight, so there is only one week to enter! Hurry, hurry!

Thank you to our sponsors and all the amazing bloggers that made this giveaway happen!


giveaway
sponsors
SPONSORS


blue beanie white sweater
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The nitty gritty details:
Open to US only. Winners will be contacted by email after being chosen and must reply within 24 hours, or else the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen. Winner is responsible for anything outside the given prizes (example: deciding to buy something other than the given prize) or shipping on returns. Contest is in no way affiliated with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Youtube, Tumblr, or Twitter.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Be Not Afraid of Life

"Be not afraid of life.  Believe that life is worth living, 
and your belief will help create that fact."
-Henry James

Life was, is, and never will be perfect.  It is a series of trials and experiences that enlighten us, challenge us and strengthen us.  A friend of mine has recently been struggling with the direction her life has taken.  When I first met her she owned successful businesses, she was well traveled, educated, owned multiple pieces of property and had been motivated to constantly progress in life.  Now, five years down the road she feels like she has come to a life purgatory, although she is still successful, she has taken a couple of hits and feels stagnant with goals not completely in her control.  One of the things she has wanted most for the past few years is to finally find someone to settle down with and share the life she has built.  Now that she has hit her mid-30's, she has become frustrated with patiently waiting and has begun to wonder if previous life choices with her career and traveling cost her the chance for a happy marriage.  Personally, I don't believe life is that fickle.  (Continued below...)






| Pants: c/o Sage by Olivia Wares (sold out-similar here) | Jacket: Nordstrom (similar here) | Boots: Shoedazzle | Beanie: CottonOn (similar here) | Tee: Nordstrom Rack | Necklace: Nazari Jewelry |

Yes, I believe our choices shape our future, but I also believe that God has given us multiple opportunities to lead a full and happy life.  He wants us to succeed and understands that we make mistakes.  However, this life is a series for trials for us.  Some of them are brought on by our choices and are clear consequences.  Sometimes, however, there are challenges we must face because that is one of the specific difficult tests in our lives that are necessary to help shape us into the best version of ourselves.  For each person these tests are different, for my friend it might be finding a man that is marriage material, for some finding that special someone may have come more easily.  We all have weaknesses that need to be strengthened and challenges are what help us become stronger.  Trials are not something to dwell on, even if they come as a consequence of a bad choice.  They are something to persevere through, and to realize that endurance will help you to become the person you were meant to be.  So don't be afraid to embrace life with all of its fiery trials and beautiful blessings, it is worth the perseverance.  Life is worth living, so don't forget to live it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Choose to Live

"It seems to me that if you or I must choose
between two courses of thought or action,
we should remember our dying
and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure on the world"

-John Steinbeck

We've all been confronted with difficult choices.  Often these choices only shape a small moment in our lives, but sometimes the reach of a decision can be so vast that it can impact not only your future, but generations after you.  We all have an impact on the world, which is why it is important that we understand the effects of our decisions.  Even just the decision to get out of bed and live is a hugely influential decision.  Our lives, our breath, our choices or even lack of involvement in the world are all part of an intricate web.  Steinbeck's words often reverberate in my head when I find myself in a bit of a low with my depression.  No matter how difficult or good my life is, I will always have choices, we all do.  One day our time on this earth will end, but instead of biding our time until our breath runs out, instead make decisions that will leave a positive mark on the world so that when the time comes your "death brings no pleasure on the world" but instead a joy that you lived.




| Vest: Love On A Hanger | Top: Sanctuary Clothing (sold out-similar sleeve detail tops here and here) | Pants: CottonOn (similar here) | Bracelet: Marilyn and Beverly's | Lip Stain: Sephora (Ruby Extract) | Lip Liner: Milani |

Hope your holidays are going well goldies and thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Beat The Cold Weather Blues + PinkBlush Giveaway

"Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:
never more to wake on stony bed,
never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead."

-J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings

Cold, grey weather getting you down?  Me too!  Especially when the season changes, my mind has a hard time making the change from sunshine and blue skies to pale, bleak grey.  It hard for my head to differentiate between the world around me being overcast and my life being purposeless.  Tolkein's words are often how my mind and body feel when the weather first changes and the light and color have been washed from the world.  To help beat these cold weather blues, I have found ten things to help me stay motivated and get through the colder months (continue reading below for list + giveaway...)





| Cargo Jacket: c/o Pink Blush | Pants: c/o Pink Blush | Scarf: c/o Pink Blush (sold out-similar here) | Bracelet: c/o Marilyn and Beverly's | Necklace: Nazari | Heels: Nine West | Tee: Nordstrom Rack |

5 Ways to Beat Cold Weather Blues

1. Get some sun.  When the sun does appear, I usually sneak outside for a quick walk just to glimpse the blue sky and feel the sun on my face for a moment.  Also try taking Vitamin D or using full spectrum bulbs or UV light therapy.

2. Exercise.  I lose my motivation for fitness when it is cold because I'd rather bundle up watching a movie then going to the gym when it is pitch black out after work.  However, it's important to get some exercise in or you will feel more sluggish and depressed...believe me, I know this from experience!

3. Eat an orange.  Sounds odd, I know!  Oranges look and taste like summer to me, not to mention they have Vitamin C that will help keep your immune system strong to beat colds.  Nothing gets me down in winter more than being sick, yuck!

4. Enjoy winter activities.  Take advantage of activities only winter has to offer so you have something to look forward to.  Try sledding, snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, snowman or snow fort making, etc.  

5.  Embrace the season.  Let yourself get caught up in the holidays and enjoy the company around you. I tend to become more hermit like in the winter.  I'd rather curl up alone and read a book or watch a movie than be social.  It's important to still be social to keep you from sinking into a deep depression and so you remember that there is still fun in winter!

Hope these tips help you this winter!  Stay warm goldies and don't forget to enter the PinkBlush giveaway below to win a gift card and score some of the cute things I've been wearing on my blog lately!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 1, 2014

Conquests + PinkBlush Giveaway

"The only conquests which are permanent
and leave no regrets
are our conquests over ourselves."
-Napoleon Bonaparte

There were very few men in history who were able to succeed in the significant territorial conquests over Europe that Napoleon Bonaparte achieved for France in the early 1800s.  On the same hand, Napoleon lost the empire he had built just as quickly.  If there was ever any man who knew how fleeting temporal victory can be, I would say Napoleon would be near the top of the list.  This just adds to the legitimacy about his statement about the conquest over ourselves.  The hardest victories in this life to obtain are the victories over ourselves (continued below...)

*Keep reading below to enter the giveaway below for PinkBlush, they have some really cute clothes right now that make perfect outfits for the holidays.  I couldn't resist and am wearing PinkBlush today in my post!







| Cardigan: c/o PinkBlush | Tee: c/o PinkBlush | Hat: Jessica Simpson (similar here) | Bracelet: Marilyn and Beverly's | Jeans: Forever21 (only $7.90) | Boots: Bakers (similar here) | Necklace: Nazari |

We all have flaws, trials and imperfections that we need to improve upon.  I don't know about you, but it is extremely hard for me to turn my weaknesses into strengths!  This life is all about progression and overcoming obstacles.  It is about growth, improvement and learning to harness our selfish behaviors so we can become more Christlike.  Every weakness takes hard work and perseverance to overcome, but each effort brings us closer to our conquest over ourselves.  Even though it may take time, self-improvement is worth the effort because it is a permanent knowledge that we can keep with us.  This holiday season find something about yourself you want to improve and then reevaluate on New Years Eve.  If you haven't made any progress make new resolutions and start conquering your pitfalls.  As you start seeing little victories they will simultaneously develop you into the person you want to be.  Happy holidays goldies and a wish of good luck from me to you in winning the giveaway for PinkBlush below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. only
Entries will be verified 
Have fun entering ;)


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Frost + Fire

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire."

-Robert Frost 
(Continued below...)








| Flower Crown: c/o Miss Stevi Marie |  Sweater: c/o Chic Style Utah | Necklace: c/o Noonday Collection | Skirt Extender: c/o Marilyn & Beverly's | Dress: H&M (similar here & here) | Plush Tights: Nordstrom Rack | Booties: Aldo via Nordstrom (similar here & here) |

Fire.

I can't think of a better word to describe some of the strongest emotions my heart has felt in my relatively short lifetime.  The first spark of love, burning tears, red hot anger, a flaming soul, roaring passion; all of these feeling have one thing in common...fire.  Fire has been my drive in starting my companies, traveling, blogging, applying to law school and starting to develop a non-profit organization to help fight teen depression.  These fiery desires all burn within me and have made me all the wonderful things I am today, they have also been my obstacles.  I have recently found myself so exhausted from working 50-60 hours a week and then coming home to study, blog, cook, clean, take care of the puppy, schedule appointments, etc.  I have been working seven days a week for the past couple of months and if I every get away with 40 hours a week I pretty much had a vacation.  My fire has been literally burning me out.  I have an addiction to work and progression, which can be great strengths as well as vices.  I've been reflected on the words of wisdom spoken to me over the last year about not running faster than being able.  I know I am not the only person in this position, I'm sure most  of you have found time slipping by and your body giving in to weariness, so instead of getting burned up by your fire I would like to share a few quotes and words of advice I am trying to work on as well.

Gandhi stated, "There is more to life than increasing it's speed".  Life already moves so quickly, why do we feel the need to fill every minute instead of enjoying it and focusing and the most important things?  Sometimes "we have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best" as Dallin H. Oaks once said.  When I evaluated my time I started to realize I was spending a lot of my efforts doing jobs and tasks that are not ultimately important to me and it was time for me to cut back on a few things in order to make room for what matters most.  For each of you what matters the most may be different, but take some time this holiday season to stop and remember your priorities so you don't get lost in stress and living a life full of keeping up with the neighbors or chasing after things that ultimately make less time for what your most important goals are.  Not to mention, take time for your mental stability!  Take it from me, last holiday season I was in tears every other day completely overwhelmed with everything I had put on my plate.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, let the roaring fire in your body dwindle so you can more clearly see which sparks to focus on and rekindle the fires of what ultimately matters most.  

 [Left to Right] | Stevi | Jody | Katelin | Ariel | Lauren | Jessi | Jaylynn | Abby | Me

*Special thanks to Miss Stevi Marie who organized this shoot and invited me to be part of it, these girls have become some of the most positive friends of mine and I loved being able to do this shoot with them.  The team that made this shoot possible was amazing as well, thanks to Kali Poulsen for the images, Stevi for the crowns, Chic Style Utah for the cardigans, Emily Rose for my makeup and Lovely Locks and Darling Dyes for my hairstyle.  You girls were all wonderful and I'm so lucky to have been able to be part of this gorgeous shoot!  

Happy Thanksgiving tomorow goldies!  Thanks for reading, remember to slow down and take time to enjoy the day.  I'm so grateful for all of you who take the time to stop my my blog and support me.