Because I Said So
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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 fianc├ęs (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!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Because I Said Yes

I've been way too absent from my favorite corner of the internet, but my reason, this time, is totally validated.


Yep. My Prince Charming of almost 8 years, proposed over Memorial Day weekend. What I thought was just a road trip to a brand new city, turned out to be the best weekend ever and the beginning of the rest of our lives together! I've been dying to spill the story because it's both equal parts funny and sweet. 

The Trip

We went to San Antonio over Memorial Day weekend -- a city I've never been to and one that Josh mentioned every once in awhile (over seven years) as a place we should go together one day. The drive was anything but easy--it's about a 7 hour road trip, but add in torrential downpours, Baton Rouge traffic, and lightning everywhere, and it becomes an even longer trip. Plus we both worked a full day that day! 

We basically slept-walked into our hotel on Friday night and didn't budge until Saturday morning. Saturday, I only had THREE things on my mind: Brunch, the Alamo, and FANCY DINNER. Priorities. 

I had no idea that Josh would propose. It crossed my mind once or twice, but I thought for sure, NO WAY.

First things first, brunch. After getting lost and walking three miles to brunch at the Liberty Bar, we finally got the mimosas we so very much deserved. Liberty Bar was definitely worth the walk from the Riverwalk--plus they serve brunch almost all day on Saturdays!

P.S. At this point, I'm still completely oblivious as to what's going to happen later that night.

We lost where we parked the car and were sweating and tired by the time we got a glimpse of the Alamo. The tiniest little building in the middle of a bustling downtown. Needless to say, we didn't wait around in line (which was snaked around the entire park area). Been there. Done that. Check. 

Back at the hotel, we freshened up before our super cool dinner at the Tower of the Americas! The restaurant rotates ever so slightly, which is why I initially thought we were eating there. They also have an observation deck and a 3D movie!

The Proposal

I only remember a few key hints that should have set me on Josh's trail, but hindsight is 20/20 you know?

Hint 1: I was showering and getting ready when Josh stepped out "to get ice." Why we needed ice when we were about to leave I had no idea--He was getting the ring out of the truck. 

Hint 2: We get to the Tower of Americas 2 WHOLE HOURS EARLY. Initially, I thought this was just because the line was long and it can take awhile to get up to the restaurant due to the limited elevator space and the amount of people. Turns out, Josh was talking to management to make sure he could skip the line to propose on the Observation Deck. Meanwhile, I'm left sitting on a park bench all alone forced to people watch, which really, was quite entertaining.

We finally made it into the elevator and up to the Observation Deck and let me tell you: it's a beautiful view and wind tunnel ALL AT THE SAME TIME. You could be enjoying the skyline one minute and the next, your skirt could be flying over your head. True story.

After a few laps around the deck, I was getting bored. There's only so much you can see--and I wanted WINE, DINNER, and to not have to hold my skirt down. Josh had other plans. He was intent on taking a picture and I was having none of it. Picture this: my hair flying everywhere (I have a lot of it y'all) and trying to not flash everyone every time the wind blew. Yea. I was over it. 

Hint 3: Josh was so intent on "taking the picture" that he sprinted after a guy to ask him to take it. I heard the sweet volunteer say it was on video and I, already annoyed with the wind, was annoyed further. "Josh it's on video, he doesn't know how to work an iPhone," I remember saying. Oops. 

A second later I turned around to Josh bending down--I thought he was tying his shoe--until I saw the ring box that he hid in his sock. As he got down on my knee all I was saying was:

Are you serious? Are you serious? *SOB* Are you serious? *MORE SOBBING* I finally realized what was happening, said yes, and managed to give him the correct hand.

This is now my most favorite Lilly outfit that I own!

We celebrated with a nice dinner and called all of our family and friends almost immediately. My mom had no idea--my dad is super sneaky because he knew almost a week before when Josh took him to lunch and asked for his permission.

Josh picked out the ring all by himself and I could not have picked anything better if I tried. Every detail on the ring has a meaning to him and now to me. I love it so much more knowing how much thought went into choosing it, but not as much as I love Josh.

I'm still swooning over all of the details--writing it out made me relive the moment and all of the feelings I had. I can't wait for the next 6 months to fly by because #wereRyantheKnot y'all!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I'm Gonna Make This Place (Our) Home

This post is sponsored by However, all opinions are my own.

Our house is coming right along folks. In about 45 days the keys will be in our hands and we will be officially homeowners!

The floors, granite, cabinets, and appliances are in--all things we had to pick months ago from a teeny tiny sample swatch. I was sweating the fact that they might not all go together. But fortunately, everything couldn't look better. 

Now I can move on to worrying about other things. More specifically, what decor is going in the living room, guest room, etc. I've got tons and tons of ideas spread out all over my Pinterest boards, but y'all. It's harder than I thought to basically build a whole room design from scratch and to make two people's different tastes work together. 

I recently stumbled across and I'm loving all of the unique items they have to offer (because no one wants "cookie cutter" decor). They are committed to offering a creative and exciting merchandise assortment, working with artists to small manufacturers. They also strive to be environmentally and socially responsible--which is an idea I can get behind.

I can see Josh loving this game and I would love this to hang on the wall in our office. I'm looking to combine rustic + modern items in our kitchen, and this cookbook stand (since I do so much cooking--I really will start!) would be perfect! They have so many items to choose from that would be perfect for a couple!

The 45 days will be here and gone before we know it. Other than still having a whole house to decorate and big pieces (washer/dryer/refrigerator) still to buy, I think we are ready for this next adventure!

P.S. Father's Day is coming up! You'll want to check out their selection of unique gifts for the all of the men in your life! Seriously!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5 Reasons to be Active in the Morning

I did it, y'all. I have become a morning person. I'm not going to lie, it was tough at first. I slept through alarms and hit snooze a dozen times before I finally got it right. But then, I got addicted to how much better it made me feel throughout the day and have come to crave the routine.

There are TONS and TONS of reasons to be active in the morning (and be active in general)--here are a few of my favorites:

1. You'll have more energy throughout the day. 

I know, it sounds counterproductive. The longer you're awake the more tired you are, right? WRONG. Being active in the morning, whether for 15 minutes or an hour, gets your metabolism going. I gave up coffee a few months ago and was only sometimes struggling with being SO TIRED during the afternoon. Since I start incorporating morning walks (with and without my fur child), I've been able to make it through the afternoon without wanting to take a nap.

2. The quietness.

I've been getting up at 6:15 AM almost every morning (which is an ENTIRE hour earlier than I'm used to) and I'm still amazed at how still everything is outside. Getting up early allows you a chance to get a jump on the day when your phone isn't blowing up with emails, texts, and social media notifications.

3. More time in the day.

Getting up an hour earlier actually makes more hours in the day. Technically not. But more "working" hours during the day counts for something. If I can work out in the morning, it's one less thing I have to do during the day or after work. 

4. You'll feel better (see #1).

And not just your metabolism. Being able to clear your mind with a walk/run or whatever kind of activity you prefer is the best feeling. Working out gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people aren't stressed and love life more.

5. You'll be closer to your step goal.

Sorry not sorry that I'm obsessed with hitting my 10k step goal everyday. Getting up early and going for a walk allows me to get a leg up on my goal. My job requires a lot of sitting, so the more steps I can get before work hours, the better!

Are you active in the morning? Or do you prefer working out in the evenings?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


One main reason I've put off blogging night after night, day after day--I can't figure out what to write about. I come up with a thousand topics that I can write short "tidbits" about, but none are post worthy in themselves, nor do I have the time to take pictures, etc., etc. For lack of better post topics, here are my tidbits.

All Natural Dog Food: 

After chatting with a holistic veterinarian, a potential client for work, I learned the sad truth about "dry dog food." Obviously I've seen the commercials stating that some brands are better than others--but I'm here to tell you--ALL dry dog food sucks. And it does just that; it sucks the moisture out of your dog's gut leaving them in a constant state of dehydration. 

Since then, Laney's been on a more natural food diet. Most of what humans eat, dogs can eat. MOST. I feed Laney canned dog food (to reintroduce the moisture) and vegetables. She loves green beans! 

I've been pinning a few things, so follow me on Pinterest if you're thinking about taking the plunge! And don't forget to do your own research and talk to your vet!

Essential Oils

Well. I'm back on my essential oils kick and I can't figure out why I stopped using them! A few weeks ago, when I got my braces tightened, my teeth hurt so bad (what's new?) Two power chains on each side of my teeth and a new figure eight--it's a wonder I didn't scratch all my teeth out. I applied Thieves with a Q-tip to my throbbing gums and within 5 minutes, I couldn't feel a thing! 

I'm also obsessed with Lavender (to help me sleep) and Peppermint (to keep me awake) and looking to try out more!

House Progress.

So much progress has been made on our house! They just put the shingles up yesterday which brings us to: AC system, electric, water, tubs, can lights, surround sound, windows, and exterior doors. Building a house is not for the faint of heart and is certainly hard to do when you're super impatient (like me). Also, I'm beginning to think we picked the WORST time to build a house in South Louisiana--so.much.rain. The countdown: 70 days until we have keys in our hands! (Follow me on Instagram for updates!)

Spray Tans + Wedding Festivities

I'm the MOH in my friend's wedding this weekend! The rehearsal dinner is today and the only thing I've figured out is what I'm going to wear--sound familiar? I'm sure I'll give a rockin' speech or at least look good bumbling around. I'm wearing the NEW Lilly Pulitzer two-piece and a spray tan.

I'll be honest, I've had some bad spray tan experiences in the past. When I went yesterday, I was so scared I was going to be orange which would clash with my emerald green dress and make me look like an Oompa Loompa. *breathe* GOOD NEWS: I look great! No orange in sight!

So, those are my tidbits for now. One of these days I'll be able to put together a cohesive post all about one subject, I promise! For now, thanks for following along while I find my new "balance" whatever that may be!