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Monday, August 29, 2016

5 Reasons Getting Your Braces Off Is The Best

I've been waiting for today for two and a half years. I got my braces off! After years of tightening wires, new rubber bands, and multicolored power chains, I'm so excited to have them off and to not have to do that anymore. I now feel the joy that every other twelve year old before me experiences. It was a grueling 3 hours at the orthodontist this morning, but I survived and have a pretty new smile to boot. 

If you just got braces or are in the throws of getting your wire changed every month, there's hope. Here's why getting your braces off is actually the best thing ever (and what you can look forward too!):

1. No more wire tightening. 
Anyone that's ever had braces will tell you that the monthly checkups to poke around in your mouth and tighten your wires and basically cause you more pain, are the worst. Just as I would get over one tightening, they would tighten them again. 

2. My teeth are SO SMOOTH. 
I can't stop running my tongue over my teeth and looking at them in the mirror. They're so pretty! (No, really. I saw my impression that they took before I had braces and OMG my teeth were so ugly!)

3. I can eat whatever I want! 
I don't have to stick to soft foods or "braces friendly foods" anymore! OH HAPPY DAY! I ate rice and Starbursts and Skittles for dinner tonight and it was great!

4. I don't look twelve years old anymore. 
Whenever I had braces, I felt like I was always getting carded (not just for alcohol--I'm 25, but for R-rated movies too). Maybe I'll look closer to 25 than 12 now! 

5. I can smile with my teeth. 
When I had wires in my mouth, I felt like I couldn't smile with my teeth. I'd always "hit 'em with that soft smile." Now, I can't STOP smiling. And, I'm ready for my bridal portraits!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


I had a pretty crummy Monday. There's no getting past that fact. Despite my best efforts, I just couldn't shake the worst case of the Mondays I've had in awhile. Between wedding planning, work, and a splitting headache that wouldn't go away--Monday took it's toll. By the time I got home, I wanted to do anything but cook dinner and be anything remotely near personable.

Here's the part where I get to brag on my fiancé.

Josh sat me down, listen to me whine, complain, and basically have a break down before he put things into perspective.

I was complaining about my less than stellar Monday, when there are currently people a city over--heck down the street--who lost everything in the recent flooding. I was peddling my "woe poor is me" act, when some people were actually have a worse Monday than I was.

Needless to say, it snapped me out of my funk and made me realized how blessed I am

Sure, I had a less than stellar day at work, but at least I have a warm bed to come home to. Yes, wedding planning is stressful. But, I'm so lucky to have found the one whom my soul desires. My headache was the headache from hell, but I'm blessed to have my health.

So, the next time you catch a case of the Monday blues, remember, it's all about perspective. Which one will you choose?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Coffee Chat Volume 1

Happy Thursday, loves! For the last month or so, I have been working behind the scenes with some amazing bloggers to bring you a monthly series called the Coffee Chat.  Each month us 6 bloggers will pick a topic that deals with life, blogging, and more personal topics. I am so excited to bring you this series and introduce you to bloggers that I know you will love! 


Let's meet the bloggers!

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Hi everyone! I''m Katelyn and I am the blogger behind Katelyn Blogs. I am so excited to be part of this coffee chat series with some of my favorite bloggers! 
I’m a twenty-something aspiring Girl Boss, full-time advertising and public relations student, and fiancé to my boyfriend of five years. Katelyn Blogs is my creative outlet celebrating female empowerment and my place to share my experience and tips in beauty, lifestyle, and blogging. I’m obsessed with coffee, cats, and anything from the dollar aisle at Target…you’ll see a LOT of those things on my Instagram!
Let’s connect on social media! You can find me at: InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


Hey ya’ll! I’m Cara, a police wife, mother of two boys, and full-time marketing professional, and I blog over at Kindly Unspoken. I’ve only been blogging since last November, but the focus behind my blog is to help inspire others to be confident in their own skin, to take risks, and to always go after their dreams no matter what. Readers of my blog will find posts on makeup/beauty products and how-to's, cute and affordable fashion, delicious homemade recipes, DIY crafts, and stories about my life with my beautiful family.
Be sure to follow Kindly Unspoken on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin', and Facebook.


Hello everyone! My name is Chandler Larsen and I blog over at Life as a Larsen. On my blog you can find marriage and relationship posts along with some humorous lifestyle. Soon I will also be incorporating more family and mom posts since we are expecting our first little boy in a couple months! I love to be outdoors and do activities like rock climbing, hiking, fishing, camping, etc. but don't mind a great night in watching Netflix either. I love Target, Pepsi, documentaries, and living my life with no regrets. 
Keep up with Life as a Larsen on Facebook and Instagram


Hi, my name is Allison and I'm a twenty something living in the small town of Ponchatoula, LA. I write Because I Said So as a creative outlet and to inspire others.  Because I Said So is a collection of my thoughts on the people in my life and things that I love; basically my life according to me--with little sassy tidbits thrown in here and there.  I'd label it "Lifestyle" but I write about my family, work/life experiences, Fashion, My dog-child Laney, How Tos, Recipes, and more!
Be sure to follow Because I Said so on Instagram,  TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest

Hey all! My name is Kara and I am the owner of the blog Fit Chick Nextdoor. If you visit my blog you will find tons of posts about our favorite beauty products and tips as well as fashion, career, blogging and lifestyle help. I love helping my readers whether it is finding really great products or with their careers. My readers are incredible and I love the community that we have built!


Hi everyone! I'm Lexi, an appraisal underwriter by day and a blogger at A Blissful Haven by night.  I've been blogging on and off for about two years. When I'm not underwriting or blogging, I'm busy planning a wedding, entertaining our two dogs, and organizing our house.  A Blissful Haven is a lifestyle blog where you can find a little bit of everything such as beauty and fashion posts, home decor tips and inspiration, DIY crafts, tips and tricks on succeeding in life. A Blissful Haven has a little bit of everything for everyone, so be sure to stop over and take an escape from realty! 
Keep up with A Blissful Haven on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bloglovin'.

Tell us about you!
What topics would you like to see us discuss?

Tidbits Part Deux

I started writing "tidbits" because I have so much going on these days that I don't know how, nor do I have the energy to put it all in one cohesive posts. Plus, bulleted/numbered lists are easier to read, right?

Making a House a Home

We moved in a little over a month ago and I have to say, living together is different. Not bad. Just different. "It's not always rainbows and butterflies it's compromise"...but really. And it's picking up someone else's dirty underwear, doing their dishes, and trying not to sleep in the middle of the bed and take all of the covers. It's also movie nights, being able to roll over and steal a kiss in the morning, and cooking breakfast together on Saturdays.

I've been trying this new thing where I cook every night. So far, I have only made one thing that was basically inedible. #winning

Wedding Planning

Our Save the Dates are in (and being sent out in batches), we found someone to marry us, and we booked our honeymoon! Huge steps in the right direction when it comes to wedding planning. I've been putting it off for awhile and now it seems like we are finally moving in the right direction and that we are ACTUALLY getting married!


I get my braces off in 18 days! A little over two weeks and I'll know what it's like to eat strawberries without immediately brushing my teeth, eat gummy worms without popping rubber bands, and remember what my teeth actually look like! After two and a half years, I'm literally the most excited to not look like a twelve year old anymore!

That's all of the tidbits I have for now--they are plenty to keep me busy!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Move In Necessities

It's still so weird to think I moved into my own house (ok our house) a few weeks ago. Nothing says "I'm adult" like owning a house and paying a mortgage. If I'm being completely honest, we aren't all-the-way moved in. Like, at all. All in good time they tell me, but I want it all Pinterest perfect as of yesterday.

While I may not have it together in the decoration department, I can pass along some of my must-haves for the first few nights your new house with help from the Cottonelle Clean Care Box.

1. Toilet paper.  Obviously, but also the number one thing you'll forget. Seriously. Pack a few rolls a few days before--just for good measure.

2. Lotion.  Sounds frivolous, but the Ultra Rich Hand Cream that came in my Clean Care Box by Cottonelle is to die for.  And after heavy lifting and moving boxes all day, your hands will thank you, I promise. The lotion lives up to it's name too--very, very rich.

3. Chapstick. I don't know about you, but I lose every single chapstick I buy after only using about 25% of it. It's a problem. The Skinfix Lip Repair Balm from the Cottonelle Clean Care Box came at just the right moment!

4. Facial Cleansing Wipes. Because you'll forget where you packed your entire life much less which box/bag you packed your face wash and it's quick and easy. One step and you're done. Check that off the list.

5. Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths. For life's messier moments. Enough said.

6. Loofah. After moving all day, all you'll want to do is sink into a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine. Been there. Done that. 

7. Kleenex. Because your mom will probably be tearing up if you're moving out and you need to be prepared! Plus, Kleenex is and always be one of those classic necessities.

Target is currently sold out of the Clean Care Boxes, but you can still buy all of the full size items at your local Target store or online at and make your own box! P.S. the Cottonelle and Kleenex products I mentioned have special offers available on Target's Cartwheel App! (And seriously, go for the lotion!)

What are you move in must haves?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I Love You For Worse or For Better

Josh and I haven't had professional pictures taken of us since 2009--when my friend took my high school senior pictures. He made an appearance in his school uniform and those are still some of my most favorite pictures. Not to say that the selfies and numerous iPhone pictures don't matter as much, but I have soft spot for professional ones. So, to have won these engagement pictures from Aperture Photos was a blessing and a dream come true! I will treasure these forever. 

Josh is complete natural in front of the camera for someone who doesn't do things like this often (read: ever)  I mean look at that smirk. While I was running around like a chicken with my head cut of the morning of, he was as cool as a cucumber--and it showed throughout our session I'm sure.
Our photographer, Kirsten, had the idea to take pictures IN THE WATER--honestly, I had no idea what to expect. She sent me some inspiration pictures and told me to wear something flowy. That's all I got. It's a good thing we trusted her completely because they turned out SO GOOD!

I felt like a rockstar/supermodel the whole time and loved taking these pictures with Josh. It was such a special morning for us to spend together. If I'm being honest, I wish we could take pictures every weekend! 
I can't wait to print these out and hang them all over our house, but narrowing these down for a Save the Date is going to be tough! What's your favorite?

Photography by Kirsten Waguespack of Aperture Photos

P.S. see the iPhone photoshoot I did with her here

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hey What's Up Hello

Welcome Mat

We did it! We bought a house. 

I guess you may have already known that if you're a.) family/friends or b.) follow me on any form of social media, but the NEW news is...we MOVED IN! I felt like towards the end of our house being built, we were holding our breath--praying that all of the financials of the loan worked out. And IT DID!

The future Ryans are homeowners! What a relief. 

We closed on the rainiest Monday we've had in awhile and up until mid-week, we hadn't had a chance to actually move much in. We were gambling with the weather and watching the radar for clear spots to haul couches and beds from one city to another. 

We still don't have all of the furniture in or anything on the walls nor are we completely moved out of our parent's houses--thank goodness for long weekends and patient fiancés (him not me lol)--but it's slowly coming along.

Our first week in numbers:

6 nights stayed
20 bottles of water consumed
73 the average degree the AC stays on
5 bags of trash
8 trips to Lowes
2 Hours at Walmart for ALL of the groceries
0 dinner cooked (sorry not sorry)
6:30AM the time Josh wakes me up every morning when he goes to work

We are loving all being under one roof and making our new house into a home. In one week we've learned all about compromise and are adjusting to sharing. 

Now, on to wedding planning!