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How to choose the perfect wedding dress

We all dream of the day where we will be standing in a gorgeous wedding gown surrounded by our family and friends. We don't always think of how hard it will be to actually find that perfect dress. Last month I went wedding dress shopping for the very first time. I've watched Say Yes To The Dress since I was twelve so I guess you could say I've been preparing myself for this moment. I had a vision of what style dress I wanted. It was a plunge neck line, open back and a skirt made of tulle and magical appliques. I had been pinning dresses similar for years. Most of the dresses I loved were well out of my budget, they were starting at $10,000 yikes!! The dress style I wanted was extremely hard to find, nearly impossible with my budget. That is why I am writing today's post, I want to share some advice with you that I learned from wedding dress shopping.

Be open minded
Like I said, I knew my perfect dress most likely didn't exist in my budget so I was prepared to go with a different style. Some brides may go into the consultation not having any style in mind and that's perfectly okay! Your bridal consultant will help you to find your perfect dress. I picked a dress that has an element I never thought I'd like! I actually saw this dress online and decided I wanted to try it, I found a bridal shop that carried it and made an appointment. Going into the appointment I wanted to try the dress on for fun, just to see what it would look like. Who knew it would end up being THE dress!

Go with what feels comfotable
Now I don't mean comfortable as comfy to sleep in, unless that's important to you. I mean comfortable for you and your style. It is so important that you feel like YOU in the dress. Many brides get talked into a dress that is nothing that they wanted and they feel uncomfortable in it. There have been so many times I decide to try a new look and I end up feeling uncomfortable the entire night because it is not me. So please, make sure the dress you choose represents you and only you!!

This is your dress
I'll admit it, I'm a people pleaser. I often choose things that make others happy and leave me feeling underwhelmed. I know for a fact, there is a huge chance my fiancé will not like my dress but you know what? I'm totally okay with that. If you feel that you will pick a dress you don't love just to please your friends, family, in-laws or even your fiancé do not do it! Both of my friends picked dresses that they also feel their fiancés will not like. I think as women, we often try so hard to please our significant others that we are willing to sacrifice what we want. This is your time to shine!

How will you know it's the one?
I truly believe that everyone knows deep down when it's their dress. Like I mentioned before, when I went to try on my dress it was just for fun. I thought it was too "out there" for me to actually wear. As soon as I slipped the dress on and looked in the mirror I started to feel the tears well up inside. As she was clipping the dress I couldn't wait to run out and show my family and friends. As I walked out, I looked at everyone and they all had tears in their eyes. Of course this made me even more emotional because I didn't think they would like it. Everything felt right, the dress felt like me and I was truly happy. I will say that I was so concerned about how Connor would feel about my dress choice. Everyone reminded me that he would love it because I was in it. I won't lie, weeks after I found myself waking up in the middle of the night having nightmares about the dress. Did I rush into it? Why did I get the dress? Should I have went to other stores? The late night thoughts were enough to drive me insane. Every time I had those feelings I looked at my dress and fell in love with it all over again. Trust your gut and the perfect dress will find you!

How To Find Yourself

It can be so hard to be yourself, we are constantly being fed perfect images on social media that can make us feel like we need to change. When we see these images of "perfect" people we often feel that we should mimic some of their characteristics to be more beautiful. There have been many times I've found a new Instagram account and I become obsessed with the model's style, beauty and personality. It's so easy to be inspired by that and slowly change things about ourselves. If social media didn't exist who would you be? What would your style be? Would you be more confident? These are questions we all need to ask ourselves.

From personal experience, I can say that social media has (to a degree) changed my style and confidence. Since using social media, I've found it hard to know who I truly am and as a result I feel less creative. Social media is great, don't get me wrong but I think that it has become such a huge role in our lives that it has stunted some personal growth that we all need to go through. I truly feel that if I never used social media I would have a different style and different interests.

Back to the original question, how do you find yourself? I believe that in order to find your truest self, you need to detox from life. I am in my 20's and have gone through the stage of not knowing who I am or what I want to be doing. In order for me to find myself, I go back to the days of no internet and get creative. Can you remember the last time you ditched your phone and just truly enjoyed an entire week. I highly recommend taking a solo trip or planning out a peaceful week for yourself. Everyday plan an activity outside or go somewhere that inspires you. I really love putting on peaceful music, opening up the windows and painting on a blank canvas. I'm not good at painting but it is SO relaxing and helps me to calm my mind of all worries. Doing things like this will help you become more in tune with yourself.

Take a day to try different things, write down activities you love to do or wish you did and do them! Imagine your most perfect life, how would you feel? What would you wear? How would you treat others? What would your job be? Whatever it is, make it happen! You have the opportunity to make your life whatever you want it to be. Setting goals and ambitions for your future will help you to be less fearful and more excited for the future. The key to finding yourself is doing what makes your heart and soul happy. 

Inexpensive Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

I'm engaged! I realized I never posted it on my blog, life has been crazy lately! I'm in the midst of planing my wedding which is so exciting. When I went wedding dress shopping I decided to ask my bridesmaids/maid of honor to be in my wedding. It was such a fun and special moment. I thought making a proposal box would be so easy, I saw tons of ideas on Pinterest but boy was I wrong! I went to the store with some ideas in mind but had no luck. I caved in and decided to do it all online, I actually found most of the items from Amazon which made it so easy! I will be including links into this post so that you can find these products easily!

This post contains affiliate links, this means I will receive a small percentage of the sale. This helps me to keep doing what I'm doing! 

The first thing I bought was a candle, what girl doesn't love candles?! I added in our favorite candle so feel free to add in whichever candle you and your friends like best. I added some options below!

Next, I added these mini champagne bottles that help to pop the question! I found the champagne at a local wine store and the labels I found on Amazon. The pack I found included 10 labels for under $13! (click the second photo for the link!)

These next two items I found were such a great deal! This seller sold both the bracelet and the hair ties in a pack of 6 (12 items in total) for under $12!!! I couldn't believe what a great deal it was. Since I only have a bridal party of 3 I have a lot of left overs but everything was so inexpensive so I don't mind.

This beautiful box is from Michaels craft store. I found some pretty boxes online as another option for you! 

I hope this helped you with some inexpensive ideas to pop the question to your bridal party! 

How To Trust God's Timing

 Trusting in God's timing can be really difficult. It feels like you've been praying and praying but nothing ever happens. Today I wanted to share a couple stories about how I waited for God's timing and how you can learn to trust Him.

When I was 10 years old I was obsessed with the idea of getting a tea cup chihuahua and naming her Cutie. I printed out hundreds of photos of chihuahuas, ordered dog clothes and dreamed of what it would be like to have a little pup. I prayed every single day for 2 years (sometimes twice a day) for a  little Chihuahua. My 12th birthday was just around the corner and my parents pulled me out of school early. My dad handed me a letter  and said "we are on our way to the airport to pick up your Cutie!!" I immediately started crying, I was in shock. I couldn't believe that after 2 years of praying I was finally going to get my puppy. We picked up Cutie and we were best friends for life. Cutie Belle and I were inseparable. Unfortunately, she passed away at age 10. She was so special and so loving. She had a lot of breathing issues as she got older, she needed 24 hour care. Her last few years I was with her 24/7. It taught me so much about caring for someone and helped me to trust God. Looking back, I am so glad God made me wait for her.

It's no surprise that I want to get engaged and get married asap! The subject of engagement comes up almost everyday, once you've been dating someone for 8 years people are always asking "when's the wedding?" "when are you getting engaged?" it can get overwhelming. I mentioned this on my YouTube channel that my grandpa loved Connor and I so much. Everyday he would tell me that he wanted to be there for my wedding. Once my grandpa passed away I was devastated, I couldn't understand why God had taken him before we got engaged. I had a really hard time and started to question everything, I even came to the point where I felt like I didn't want to get married at all.

About a year later, after all the emotions, I started to realize why I didn't get engaged. When you get engaged it should be the happiest time of your life. You should be stress free and excited to plan a wedding. I was neither of those things, I was sad because my grandma had recently passed away, I was still dealing with the anxiety and sadness from Cutie passing away a couple months earlier and miserable because I knew my grandpa was going to pass soon. I thought getting engaged would magically take all that pain away and make me happy. What if we had gotten engaged? I would have had to deal with death while also planning a wedding, it wouldn't have been healthy. Looking back I am so grateful that we did not get engaged during that trial. I am now finally feeling happy and healthy. I feel comfort knowing that whenever it is my time to get engaged and married it will be the most perfect timing because it is in God's hands.

The funny thing with God's timing is that we have no control over it. We think we know what's best for us but at the end of the day we don't. God sees our whole life and knows perfectly when to let certain events happen or when to let certain people come into our lives. I'm sure that there's situations you can look back on and be thankful that things didn't happen the way you wanted. Everything happens or doesn't happen for a reason and we all need to learn to trust that. Share your story about waiting on God's timing below, I'd love to hear :)

How I Cleared My Skin

It has taken me so long to get my skin to the point it is today. I have learned a lot of new tricks and tips to finally have the skin I have always dreamed of. Today I am going to share my secrets with you!

Here's a little before and after...

The products I use!

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
I use this at night. I apply it after I wash/tone my face. I either use it alone or add a few drops into my moisturizer. This products gives my skin such an amazing glow the next morning and is non-irritating.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
This product is so fun to dispense, I know that's a silly reason to love something but it really is so fun hehe! I use this product on mornings I feel like my skin needs a zap of moister. It melts right into the skin and provides a dewy glow.

I love this product to take off my makeup. It removes makeup/dirt so easily.

I have been using this product for almost a year. I use this every night before I go to bed. It is very calming on the skin and has helped drastically to clear my skin.

After I wash my face I place this toner on a cotton round and apply this to my skin. It helps to not only calm my skin but also removes any excess dirt. 

This is my daily moisturizer. I use this every night after my toner. It is light weight and gives the skin hydration. 

My Tips!

Stop using harsh cleansers! Harsh cleansers will only strip your skin and leave it irritated. You do not want to strip the good oils from your skin, when that happens it tells your skin to produce more oil which only leads to break outs.

If your skin is breaking out stop washing your face. I know that sounds weird because we are taught to treat our skin when it is bad with creams, masks and serums but those will only irritate your skin more. When I see my skin isn't looking good I stop using cleansers and only rinse my face with water. At night I will apply a very light cream.

Get a facial. The last year I started getting facials, it has changed my skin completely!! I go to Kiki from the Little Owl Spa. She is absolutely amazing and is so knowledgeable. She likes to use natural, non-irritating products to transform your skin. She uses Paula's Choice products in her spa which have helped me so much. She has taught me SO much about skin, she really helps to teach her clients how to care for their skin.

Do you have any tips on clearing your skin?!

FTC this post contains affiliate links. 

Easy Smoothie Bowl Recipes & Homemade Raw Granola

One of my favorite meals to make is a smoothie bowl! They have a similar consistency to ice cream but they are healthy and help keep you energized. Everyday after my workout I make one of these smoothie bowl recipes. I also made homemade raw granola, it is so delicious. I usually don't care for granola but this one is soft and sweet!

Homemade Raw Granola 

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 10 dates (I also love using date rolls, they blend so easily)
  • Any type of seeds/nuts
  • Dried fruit (I like pineapple, mango and coconut)

Blend the oats and dates together until fully blended. The consistency will be thick, sticky and pieces should lump together.

Blend in the seeds, nuts and fruit. Enjoy!

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl

Here's what you need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (I buy fresh fruit then freeze it, I feel that the taste is sweeter)
  • Splash of non-dairy milk

Blend these ingredients in your mixer. You want to add as little milk as possible. The less milk you add the more ice cream consistency it will be.

Feel free to add protein powder or a green boost powder. Here's my favorite green powder and it's under $15!

Place the smoothie bowl into a jar or bowl and top with the homemade granola. You can also add coconut flakes, chia seeds, flax seed, goji berries or any other type of topping you would like! The more toppings the better!

Mango Smoothie Bowl

Here's what you need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 fresh mangoes 

Blend these ingredients together, that's it! You don't need milk for this recipe since mangos are so juicy.

Top with granola and any other toppings you please.

What's your favorite smoothie bowl recipe? 

FTC this post contains affiliate links meaning if you buy from the links I will receive a portion of the sale. 

Grow Out Of Your Comfort Zone

The past month I have been focusing on growth. I'll admit it, I hate leaving my comfort zone. I feel the best when I am safe and secure. I think most of us like that feeling, we don't like change because we are afraid of the unknown. Not knowing what the outcome will be can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Being someone who suffers from anxiety I like to control and plan ahead as much as possible. This is something that I recently realized is SO unhealthy. The best things happen when you walk out of your comfort zone.

 If you follow me on my YouTube channel you would know I recently quit my job. I was working part-time on top of YouTube and blogging. I got this part time job because I felt like I wanted something safe, something that would always be consistent and dependable. The job was great, it taught me a lot about who I am, gave me better people skills and helped me to stand up for myself. I always told myself "well, if I fail at YouTube, I always have this job to fall back on". It was my safety net. Years ago I was a firm believer in "if you can dream it, you can achieve it" & "never have a plan B, plan A will work" somehow along the way I stopped believing in myself. About a month ago the word "grow" came to my mind and suddenly everything clicked! It was one of those ah-ha moments! (I'll explain more of this in a bit) I did a lot of praying and asked God to have my Pastor talk about growing on Sunday, if he did it then I knew I needed to quit my job and start this new chapter. Well, Sunday came and guess what the sermon was on? GROWTH! The next day I went into work and quit.

I have always wanted success and happiness for myself. I think we all have a different definition of success. My definition of success is being able to support myself/future family by doing what I love.  Numbers mean nothing to me, I don't care how many Instagram/YouTube followers I have nor do I care how much money I make. All I want is to be comfortable in life. I don't need fancy cars or big houses, I just want lots of love and happiness. I realized that my vision of success would come faster if I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone may mean you have a much larger work load but with all of that work comes more success and a better future. I have always been scared of going up in my career because I knew I was comfortable where I was and I was content with the work load. Maybe you're comfortable living home or in a relationship but you know you'd be much happier in a different state or with someone else.

Here's my little blurb of inspiration for you. Whatever it is that you are scared to do, go and DO IT! Do not think about it, do not over analyze it, just go for it. Don't wait for things to be perfect to start because guess what? They will NEVER be perfect. Don't wait for tomorrow to start, get up right now and do what you are the most afraid of doing (as long as it's safe). Amazing things will happen to you. Leaving your comfort zone will be scary, it will be hard and maybe even stressful at times but the end result is SO worth it. Think of the hardest thing you've ever done or the worst situation you were ever in. At the time you thought you'd never get out and never be okay but look at you now! You are out and I bet you are much happier. Everything in life happens for a reason. You won't fail at whatever it is you want to do, failure does not exist unless you give up. Your plan may not end up how you expected it to but that's because something better will happen. Life is way to short to be anything other than happy. Today is your day to start your new life and put yourself first!

What is it that's keeping you in your comfort zone?