Monday, December 31, 2012

December Sponsor Giveaway!

Happy last day of 2012!!! What better way to end the year than with a giveaway!! Many of my wonderful December sponsors are giving away some fabulous items on my blog today! One lucky winner will win all prizes, a total value of $100! So let's get to it!!!
$15 Starbucks gift card {From Erin @ Erin's Favorite Things}
$10 Starbucks gift card {from Katie @ This is my Life}
$10 Starbucks gift card {from Brittany @ Myers Family Blog}
a small owl pillow in color of your choice {from Tabetha @A Closet Intellectual}
2 fabric hair wraps {From Becca @ A Humble Bumble}
ELF nail polish kit {From Stephanie @ Vintage Modern Wife}
1 month "Da Kine" (premium) ad space {From Tarole @ One Haole Girl}

And since it's the holiday season, I'm going to throw in 1 month of large ad space on my blog!!!

Please enter the giveaway but using the Rafflecopter below. Please be honest on your entries, I will check! Thank you and good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for a little something extra, 20+13=33..... All ad spots are 33% off on my blog in celebration of the New Year!! Use promo code: NY2013


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Secret Santa Revealed - Link Up!

Hello! I hope that each of you had a very wonderful and merry little Christmas! I hope your holidays have been filled with family, friends and love! AND I hope that you were able to cross off some items on your Christmas list!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Secret Santa Gift Exchange! 51 bloggers signed up and participated in the swap!! Who doesn't love giving presents to others and receiving? And having it be a surprise!! We hope that you bloggers really enjoyed doing this exchange with one another. And most importantly, we hope that you got to know the amazing people out there that we have learned to know. We can't wait to read about everyone's experiences and see all the fun goodies you gave each other. 

But first, let's thank our hosts for putting this together! 

And now, what we have all been waiting for.... time to link up your Secret Santa Reveal post! Make sure to include the following in your post: who your Secret Santa was, a link to your blog and theirs, a breakdown of the goodies you received and any fun information you included that you learned about your swap partner.

Enjoy the rest of your HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holly Jolly December Sponsors

One of my absolute favorite things about blogging is the amazing people that I meet along the way. Well I have been fortunate to meet many extraordinary ladies, especially all of my December sponsors!!!! They are FAB!! I highly suggest that you take some to get to them too and head over to all of their blogs. You will love them like I do!!! And a special thank you to all of these ladies for sponsoring my blog this month!

Hi, I'm Amber. I'm 25 years old and living my life as a medical assistant/nursing student in Dallas, TX. I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend of 4 years, shopping with my sister, reading, learning to enjoy running and most recently learning to crochet.

My name is Katie, I am a twenty something midwest wife & mama of an 8 month old girl. I am a SAHM who loves Target, tattoos & attempts to be crafty. I blog about my life and just about everything that happens in it. My daughter is my world and often the topics of my blog post.

Hi my name is Brittany and I blog over at Myers Family Blog. I just started blogging recently when I became a stay at home mom of three after working in the banking business for over 6 years. I love being at stay at home mom most days and I enjoy meeting new blog buddies. I am a wife to an amazing man Andy. I'm a mom to two handsome and wild boys and one spoiled princess. I love Jesus, my family, my church, photography, food, Sonic drinks, and reality TV!!!

 Hi, I’m Caitlin – wife to an amazing mom and momma to one beautiful 8 month old baby boy. I fell in love with Thirty-One when I was looking for a diaper bag before my son was born. My love of obsession with organization made me and Thirty-One a perfect match! I use Thirty-One to organize my home, car, and my husband uses it to organize his ‘man cave’ garage, plus you can get almost every item personalized and who doesn't love a monogram?!

I'm Erin and I blog at Just a Few of My Favorite Things! I blog about extremely important topics such as my undeniable love for the color pink and anything glittery, my hope to one day marry Ryan Gosling or Prince Harry, my ridiculously high number of nail polishes (you can never have too many shades of pink, purple or red!), and all of the adorable/creative projects I see on Pinterest that I will eventually find time to create, hopefully! ;) I'm an elementary school teacher living in Virginia and on a daily basis get to shape the minds of young students by answering questions like "Should I write down my own thoughts or just copy them from the book?", "Can you just decide tomorrow is a snow day so we don't have to come to school?" (It was May when this question was asked. We don't get snow in Virginia in May!), "How did you text your friends when you were younger if you didn't have a cell phone?" and "Do I have to use punctuation today also?" Gotta love them! :)

My name is Katie, I am a twenty something midwest wife & mama of an 8 month old girl. I am a SAHM who loves Target, tattoos & attempts to be crafty. I blog about my life and just about everything that happens in it. My daughter is my world and often the topics of my blog post.

Hi there! I'm a twenty-something married girlie girl living in beautiful Indianapolis, IN. I love to decorate, bargain shop, and spend time with my hubby and fur-baby! I can't wait to share my everyday with you!

PINK WASABI INK was founded on our favorite things: A passion for paper and all things coastal and preppy. We want to be your one-stop personalized preppy gift shop. All products are custom made, making you the designer. If you don't see the exact item you are looking for, please convo us and we will do our best to create the design you have in mind.

Hi...I'm Ricci from A Beautiful Mess! I blog about my life...the good, the bad, and the ugly. And my dog. I love my dog. I also love making wreaths, the color pink, anything monogrammed, the Arkansas Razorbacks, decorating my house, and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Hi I'm Stephanie and I'm The Vintage Modern Wife. I'm a 20-something newlywed trying to finish up my degree to become a teacher. I'm a lover of chambray and moscato, the two Michaels- Michael Buble and Michael Kors. My blog is mainly about life as a newlywed (and sometimes about being a college student), my adorable puppy named Pearl, fashion, and fun giveaways. I really like to get to know my readers and I hope you'll come and get to know me!
I am a historian, married to a historian {I do American history, he does European}. We both teach college history & humanities in a small {but growing} city in the mountains of Tennessee. In our spare time we cook {him}, craft {me}, game {I play WOW, he plays...everything else}, explore our mountains, watch scifi, laugh out loud & parent our 3 wonderfully weird kids {the Things}. The Closet Intellectual is where we show off whatever mischief we manage~*

My name is Tarole and I am a twenty something southern belle who followed her heart to a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean. I blog about the daily life of being a Haole girl in paradise. You'll find anything from personal posts, to health/fitness, to recipes, to fashion inspired.

P.S. - Be sure to check back tomorrow because many of these bloggers will be participating in an incredible giveaway on the  blog tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wedding Wednesday Link Up #5

Welcome to the fourth Wedding Wednesday Link Up Party with A Happy Wife in New Orleans!!! I have had so much fun checking out everyone's wedding posts and I hope you have too! I feel like whether your single, engaged or have been married for 50 years, you can't help but get a smile on your face when hearing about other people's wedding experience. At least that's me :)

What is this link up party all about?
Link up any wedding-related post on your blog. This can be a favorite post of yours previously written or a new post. Anything wedding related! Wedding planning, your own wedding recaps, a wedding you were in, a wedding you attended, bridal showers, engagement stories, honeymoons, etc... You get the picture! Be sure to link up a different post for every new link up party.

Now let's meet this week's co-hosts!
Brandi @ Brooklyn State of Mind
Mandee @ Life Chaos and Quotes
Teressa @ Newborn Mama

Here are your "vows" to linking up:
1. You MUST follow your Host and Co-hosts {#1 - 4} via GFC.
2. Link up your favorite "wedding" related post on your blog. It could be a new post or one previously written. ** Be sure to include the link directly to that post.**
3. Please link back to me within your post (text link or party button). There will be times that I will feature my favorite posts and will only feature those posts that include a direct link back to me.
4. Visit other blogs that have linked up and let them you know stopped bye.
5. Spread the word about this fun link up party!
A Happy Wife in New Orleans

Interested in co-hosting a future Wedding Wednesday Link Up Party? 
Email Mary at!

I am so excited to see everyone's wedding post! 
Thank you for saying "I DO" to the Wedding Wednesday Link Up Party!

PS - Quick question for Wedding Wednesday participants.... Do you like how you can link up any themed wedding post OR would you like it if I set a theme for each link up / asked wedding related questions to be answered in your post? Just looking for ideas to keep things spicy ;) Please leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts!

Engagement Photos 101

One of my favorite things that engaged couples do is an engagement photo shoot. I know that I (and possibly even Edward lol) had a blast doing them. I highly recommend doing this to all engaged sweethearts. They are such a fun and special way to capture your engagement happy butterflies :) Besides having beautiful pictures to hang on your walls, they make great pictures to use on Save-The-Dates or photos for display at your wedding reception. I even created our custom guestbook for the wedding out of pictures from our engagement photo shoot. 

Before I show you some of my favorite picture "must-haves", here is some basic info to consider before taking your pictures... 

1. Make sure you schedule it on a day when you will not be rushed. Rushing can make you tense/stressed and you want to be anything but that!
2. It would be ideal to use the same photographer that you will have for your wedding. This gives you the opportunity to see how they work behind the camera and vice versa. It also makes the Mr. more comfortable with the photographer on the wedding day since it won't be his first time working with them. If you don't have your wedding photographer already hired or can't use the same one, no worries!  It's most important to find a photographer who generally captures the types of pictures that you would like. Some do more abstract, others more detailed or traditional portraits. Can't afford engagement photos? Just have a friend or family member take them for you! It doesn't have to an expensive ordeal, just make sure you capture this time in your life and create memories forever :)
3. Try to choose a location that has some meaning to the both of you. Maybe around the area you first met, where you live, near where you had your first date, etc...
4. Where outfits / colors that compliment yourself and others. You don't necessarily want to be matchy matchy but you do need to coordinate. Whether you want to be casual or dressed up, make sure you look like you!
5. More than one outfit? If the length of your photo session allows it, an outfit change would be a good idea. You will have a lot of pictures when all is said is done so it is nice to have some variety.
6. Emotions. Make sure that you capture all different emotions. Have a mixture of traditional smiling, some serious, kissing photos, action, laughing and adoring each other. 
7. Make sure you voice your opinion. Some photographers are used to doing photo sessions one particular way. Of course you hire the person you choose because you like their work. But do not be afraid to stress to them what you like. Want me fun pictures than serious? Make sure they know that. Are they trying to get you to do too much of one type of pose? Speak up!
8. Most importantly..... have fun!!!!!

For our engagement photos, we choose to take them in downtown New Orleans, aka, The French Quarter. The city is a big part of our lives and a place where we have some of our favorite memories. The French Quarter has so much history and culture and we really wanted to incorporate into our photos. We also used the same photographer has from our wedding day, Kristin Guin Photography. Take a look!

And now unto some of my favorite engagement photos I have ever come across!!!
                                                                            Source: via Mary on Pinterest
                                                                            Source: via Mary on Pinterest

                              Source: via Brianna on Pinterest
                                                                        Source: via JoPhoto on Pinterest
                                                                        Source: via Marissa on Pinterest
                                                                    Source: via Megan on Pinterest
                                                              Source: via Sarah on Pinterest