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LET'S GET AWAY + U by Kotex free sample

There's just about nothing I look more forward to than getaways and particularly those in the summer time. My ideal dream getaway isn't so much about a location but about relaxation, fresh air and quality time with loved ones, especially the husband. But, hey, the beach is a pretty good compromise.
So, what are my must haves for my getaway bag?
I have been on the search for THE perfect getaway tote. Not too big, not too small, light weight, a personality and comfortable straps. Ding, ding, ding. I found it!

READING MATERIAL // JOURNAL  //  HEADBAND (similar)  //  SUNNIES (want)

Hydrate your hair and put your best smile forward.

No weekend getaway is complete without the perfect travel wear. I've invested in so many of these J.Crew sweaters. They are so light, soft and comfortable. Throw on a pair of relaxed denim shorts and a necklace to amp up the look and you're good to go!
Very rarely is any getaway just me and the hubs. What happens when an unwanted friend comes along on your vacation? You know, the one that is always bugging you, making you go to the bathroom 20 times a day and ruining your style? Wait, what? What did you think I was talking about? Oh, that "friend"... your period. You don't have to be bugged, check yourself over and over or sacrifice style any longer ladies. U by Kotex is the answer.



Introducing new U by Kotex® Ultra Thin Pads with 3D Capture Core*, "a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks." There are plenty of options: Cleanwear® pads, AllNighter® pads and Security* pads.

These pads support U by Kotex's Save the Undies campaign. That's right, Save the Undies. How many undies has your "friend" ruined? Too many of mine! These pads may look like a science experiment, but that's the point- science. A product that protects and absorbs is what we gals need, plus as comfortable a feeling as possible. "That time of the month" is bad enough... make it better with the right products.

Want to give U by Kotex a try? Visit U by Kotex and find the samples that best fit your mission to Save the Undies. Click on the “Get Sample” button and enter your mailing information. Then, sit back and wait, your samples will be on their way!

So pack your bag, dress your way and Save the Undies!

And don't forget your U by Kotex free trial.

Until next time!

Huge thank you to Kotex for sponsoring today's post and helping me #savetheundies!
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"DO YOU WANNA GET ROCKED?"

My answer?

"Let's get, let's get, let's get, let's get rocked!"

My closest friends know another side to me- rocker. I'm actually a hard rock kinda girl. But, there's nothing like 80's rock. Aside from the voices, lyrics, instruments and crazy antics, the wild hair, short shorts, ripped tees, acid wash jeans, and tight leather can't be matched. Travis's favorite band of all time is back on tour. Who could pass up the chance to dance to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" being sung live by the one and only Def Leppard? Not us!

The band's songs are legendary. They're rock anthems. Seeing the one and only Def Leppard perform live... it's hard to put into words. But, let me tell you this. The concert was an experience like no other. It was perfect. The lights, the sound, the energy and the talented musicians made for an unforgettable night. When the curtain dropped, the amphitheater erupted and all there forgot their worries and next day commitments. We can't forget Joe Elliott's accent either! Hearing him say "Guitar," "Drums" was like stepping back in time into another life. I wonder... are we kin folk? Elliott is my momma's family. ; )

We left, slowly, as I could barely move from dancing (hard), our hearing didn't return until the next day and our voices were raspy for two days. Now that's an experience. I'm pretty sure we'll never be the same. I've never seen Travis cut loose that much, sing that much nor smile that much. I captured him on video but I'll spare him and not share (this time).

So any who know about this tour know that KISS is a main draw. We were one of those couples that stayed just to see the band's show and to say we've seen KISS perform live. I know many hail KISS as THE rock band, but we think otherwise. Then we were outta there for some R&R.

Dancing to Def Leppard perform "Pour some Sugar on Me," "Hysteria" and at least 10 other hits live in concert (checked off the bucket list).

I apologize for the poor photo quality and lack of photos. Cell phone only + too much dancing = photo fail.

This kid intruded on almost all my photos...
This is what happens when I try to be "hard." I end up laughing and looking awkward. 

Y'all keep rockin'!

'Til next time!
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FITNESS FRIDAY: CARDIO + STRENGTH


Yesterday I challenged myself, pushed my body harder to test my gains since I've returned to fitness. It was indeed a test but I surprised myself at how well my body and mind performed, at the strength and energy I now have. That's not to say anyone within 100 feet couldn't hear me panting...

It was a gorgeous evening; a crispness was in the air. Why not enjoy it and get outdoors?

I placed the kettlebell (10lbs) and weights (5lbs) at the bottom of the first row of stadium stairs. I left an exercise mat at the top of the last row of stadium stairs. Be sure to use weights appropriate for you. Walk vs. run if needed (I mostly walked). The stadium has four rows of stairs, thus I labeled stadium stairs as "4 sets" in the graphic. I also suggest substituting ab exercises that work best for you. I've found that what works for me doesn't really work for my husband. Warming up is key, as is stretching and hydrating, so don't skip those steps.

Don't know what an exercise is? Visit bodybuilding.com. There, you can search exercises by name and read descriptions and even watch how-to videos.

As a reminder, this is my journey in fitness. You're welcome to come along. But, I am not a licensed fitness trainer or expert, so please use your better judgment and consult a physician.

May God Bless You
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A TALL GIRL IN A NOT SO TALL WORLD

Today's post was inspired by my trip to the gym this evening. So, you're probably wondering, "where are you going with this?"

Lately I've felt taller than usual... am I getting taller or are people getting shorter? Or, is it just a feeling and not reality? My 5'11" frame struggled at the gym tonight and I couldn't help but think of the goods and bads that tall peeps face. I got so tickled over my challenges today! Enjoy!

The struggle is real...
- Exercise mats are a good foot too short. I have to choose if my calves and feet hang off the mat or my head... I'm sure you know which I choose.
- A gym bench is too short... lying down means I tend to fall off...
- My head is not in view in most mirrors in public restrooms... I have to squat or bend forward to see my reflection.
- Low ceilings and especially low ceilings with fans + tall peeps = ouch
- It's hard, okay, pretty much impossible to hide in crowds.
- Jeans/pants shopping is a nightmare.
- Shopping for shorts is pure torture.
- High rise is more like mid rise. I won't even share what mid rise and low rise are like...
- Peplum tops just don't fit.
- Crop tops are like bathing suit tops.
- I often have to buy fall/winter tops one size larger so the sleeves actually touch my wrists.
- My husband (also tall) and I go through body soap in a matter of a few days... we need more, ya know?
- I won't even address the pains of riding in cars/airplanes that just aren't meant for anyone over 5 ft.
- I no longer know what good posture feels like. I have to bend down so often just to hear what people are saying...

After all that, and that's not all of the struggles, I wouldn't trade my height for anything! Y'all know the benefits, right? My height allows me to do much on my own which provides a wonderful sense of independence and capability. It's also easy to describe then identify me: "tall, blond." And, sure, there are many others, but I'll spare you.

Thanks for reading!
God Bless!

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WHEN GOD SPEAKS

God is real.
God is alive.
God is here.

These three things I know to be true. These truths were placed in my mind and heart and I want to share these truths with you. Do not doubt these truths as I have felt His presence, I have heard His words and I have seen His works. And, I continue to feel, hear and see. 
He will not cease.

It's not easy to always do as God desires. You can be conflicted. We are faulty. The devil challenges us with every thought, feeling and action. Do not fear though as God loves you. I challenge myself and you today. When God speaks, listen. Yes, I have faulted. I have not thought, felt or acted as God has directed me. When I have faulted, I have immediately felt the repercussions. More than anything, I felt disappointed in myself and ashamed. Fortunately, God's love is never-ending. Being the recipient of God's love is a privilege. I made a commitment to embrace His love and share His love. None can love as God, but we can strive to do Him proud.

Do you listen when He speaks? I am not perfect. You are not perfect. But, take the time to embrace Him and listen.

His words and desires for you can come in subtle ways, or it can come like an unexpected wave engulfing you, filling your body and leaving no part untouched. When your heart begins to pound, when the chills cover your body, when your mixed thoughts turn to one, listen. When you hear Him speak, when His words enter your mind and you feel as though hundreds of arms are wrapping you in love, listen. Fall to your knees. Raise your hands to Him. Turn your thoughts to Him.

God is real.
God is alive.
God is here.

Acknowledge Him. Choose Him. Live in Him.

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."

God's love conquers all, wins all. Let His love lead you. Listen, for I know that God is real, God is alive and God is here.
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SS Print Shop

May God Bless You


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THANKFUL TUESDAY: FAMILY LOVE

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day celebration!

Travis and I were so lucky to be able to spend the 4th and 5th together. We're usually lucky to spend one to two holidays together a year, but we've amazingly been side-by-side for the past several holidays.  To celebrate the holiday we did the family thing. You know, cookouts, music and fireworks.

Saturday was all about the sun. Locals, if you've never been to Natural Tunnel State Park's pool, go!

The next day was the best Sunday fun day! Front porch sittin', bean stringin', and berry pickin' were the agenda for the day. It's not just family time at its finest, it's Southern family time. 

We created and shared memories that day as many families did. The sound of breaking beans was soon muffled by our voices reminiscing of the days not so long ago. Before my adult years, I lived on a family street- my grandparents across the road, my great-grandmother beside our home, and uncles on the hill. Summer colors filled the garden as veggies galore grew up and out.  My maternal grandparents and great-grandmother have passed, but their doings and sayings are still fresh in our minds and hearts. I remember many summers of sitting under the carport stringing and breaking beans, watering my great-grandmother's flowers, the smell of pickles souring the air, and family tending to the beans, peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers that would soon feed us for weeks and even months to come. As my fingers grew rough and sore from handling the beans, the presence of my family passed grew stronger. We shared stories much like my grandfather or "papaw" loved to do.

One was told of my papaw searching for seeds to fill the garden soil all with oxygen and a walker in tow. My mother accompanied him and feared for his health. She wasn't wearing the best of shoes and blisters wore on her feat as she followed him row after row. She dared not say a word though as his smile was as big as ever. Another soon followed of my grandmother stumbling across a snake and screaming for help, and a third of my great-grandmother sitting on her back porch watching the days unfold. I could see each scene as if it were playing on a movie screen. They were Christian as Christian could get- they loved all and shared that love and I was lucky enough to receive that love for as long as I did. 

Picking blackberries with my parents was new to me. I had never braved weeds and spikes just to get that perfect berry. Wild blackberries = deliciousness! We wore rain boots to block potential snake bites, gloves, and smiles all around. Yep, this is country livin'. The air was filled with giggles, "ouch" and "ahhh." It will be a memory shared years down the road.

I'm blessed with parents that honor family and make memories effortlessly. 

What's a better time to honor family, love and all we have shared than during a holiday weekend that celebrates America? I'm thankful for those that served and serve today, for the men that fought to give us this life and for the men and women that work and fight to protect it. Without them, my memories would be different. Many of my family served, including my grandfathers and I'm proud of their contributions.

Whoever you are and wherever you are, embrace those you love and those who love you. No better memories are created than those built on love. A simple blackberry picking is all you need! Be genuine. Take advantage of what we as a nation have.
May God Bless You and God Bless America!
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BEAUTY PRODUCTS THAT MAKE "THE" DIFFERENCE

As I approach the end of my twenties, I am taking steps to take better care of my skin. I know many say your thirties are the best years of your life, and I am actually looking forward the big 30.
But, my skin may not be up to the challenge without a little help! I can see and feel that my skin isn't quite as vibrant as it used to be. I've developed a few fine lines around the eyes, puffiness and redness. Now, the fine lines I attribute to smiling and smiling a lot, but they're there.

So, what's a girl to do? First, treat yourself to facials! Wow, I mean, wow! I just had my first facial last month... Why did I wait so long? Well, I was worried about the treatment aggravating my sensitive skin. You may have that same concern. I had no idea about the effectiveness of an acne facial. My skin is smooth, bright and the best part- less breakouts! So, go ahead, do it for yourself.

Next, invest in skin care products. It's so worth the $$$. I'll share my routine next week!

Now that I've shared the steps I took to improve my skin, let's talk other beauty products that can amplify your makeup/beauty look. Some even benefit your skin! These products truly make "the" difference! What girl doesn't want to put their best "face" forward?
1 - MAC Prep + Prime CC (Neutralize)
2 - MAC Prep + Prime BB Balm Compact
3 - MAC Brush Cleaner
4 - Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
5 - Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer + SPF 50
6 - Crest 3D Whitestrips
7 - Eyelash Curler

So, let's begin my review! My favorite makeup artist at MAC suggested I try the Prep + Prime Color Corrector in Neutralize to help tone down the redness to my skin. The yellow tint to the CC is what makes this product work. And, yes, it does work! The red tone is neutralized and my overall makeup look is softer, brighter and lasts longer. Next, the BB compact is gorgeous- smooth, easy to build, and feels great on my skin. I use a tad bit darker shade to contour. It adds that "just kissed by the sun" look. The best part to these products- they're SPF 30.

Now, do you clean your makeup brushes and do so regularly? Well, if not, doing so will change your life. I'm not kidding! Regularly cleaning your brushes doesn't just make them last longer, it also makes your makeup go on smoother. It's also just better for your skin!

Okay, summer weather and makeup do not mix well. That's my experience anyway. Let's be honest, I sweat more and my makeup melts. For a while now I have searched for a product or products to aid in this problem. Urban Decay's All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray does wonders! My makeup lasts longer without being shiny. Just a few sprays and you're good to go! I've had no issues with this product clogging my pores or irritating my skin.

I'll talk more about Cetaphil next week, but I discovered Cetaphil's moisturizer with SPF via the Crowley Party blog. How cute is Alycia? Anyway, I've tried so many sunscreens for my face and all have wreaked havoc on my skin. Not this! This moisturizer is my substitute for facial sunscreen.

A girl's best feature- her smile! Brighten it up, ladies. If your teeth are sensitive I suggest you use a less powerful system.

Lastly, invest in an eyelash curler. When I say "invest," just buy one! haha
I know many ladies don't use one. It'll be worth the $.

These products will take your look to the next level. Their not pricey or fancy, just simple.

Give them a try!

God Bless!
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