Wedding Wednesday is Now My Thing

Well Folks,

Here I am again. I say again because I haven’t been posting on my blog for…well too long for me to even remember. I have been lurking in the blogosphere and reading your posts though. Bloglovin is still my most visited website. That and Pinterest so I’m still here. Gone but not forgotten…..

Hopefully….

Anyway, in case you missed me, or didn’t, either way I have come back from the dead to announce something. I thought about announcing that I have an announcement like any good Blogger would do, but being MIA for months on end doesn’t really allow that much flexibility when coming back.

SO in case you missed it on Instagram on Monday…..

I’M ENGAGED!!!

Engagement Moment

Oh yea, you’re looking at the future Mrs. Barros. Boom Baby!

You can see above I was caught completely off guard. Ignore the ratty tennis shoes and unwashed hair. And Lord, there isn’t a ring pic yet because heaven forbid my nails weren’t painted. But gosh darnit, it was downright perfect, so just focus on the giant smiles on our faces instead, k thanks.

As soon as it happened my first thought besides holy crap it’s so sparkly, was “Dangit I haven’t brainstormed any good hashtag ideas yet!!”

Clearly my priorities were in the right order. I’m working on it don’t worry. For now I went with a ball and freaking chain man hashtag theme….Because well, I feel like the Man right now. (movie reference layup?)

My second coherent thought revolved around the idea that I will finally hit the big time with my blog! Whop doesn’t love a good wedding post! Until I remembered that I haven’t blogged in…..well you get the picture.

Whatever, it’s brought me back from Davey Jones Locker and that’s about the best resurrection catapult I could possibly think of so I’m happy with it.

I still don’t have a computer, but I do now have a fiance with a computer who said I can use his whenever I want. Boy this whole engagement thing is already the bee’s knees!

But of course I now need your help because despite having a Secret Wedding Pinterest board with lots of cute pictures that all color coordinate with one another, I have no clue where to start. Well I know where to start but like how does one find a Photographer? Venue? etc?? Google?

Help a newly engaged sista out will ya!

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Christmas Traditions From Your Favorite Bloggers

Hello Friends!

It’s December! What? Ok fine tomorrow it’s December, but basically the day after Thanksgiving makes it Christmas so really December.

But whether today or tomorrow, it’s upon us and that means full-blown Holiday fever!

Obviously there will be many posts about gifts and presents and don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a few of those myself coming up if I can get my act together and Not take a week off of blogging again.

But the gifts aren’t what the Holiday spirit is all about, it’s about family and friends, being with your loved ones and giving back to those around you.

My family is huge on traditions. We do the same things year after year and I couldn’t get enough of it! I love traditions!!

 

christmas traditions from favorite bloggers

However, my family is all the way down in TN while I let JB move me up to MA this year. That jerk, making me love him 😉

But this is my blog so I’m pretty muich obligated to share some of the traditions of my family no matter where they are.

  • My Mom and I usually bake all the same treats every year. Sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls, and dream bars are a must every year. Fudge with and without nuts of course. And if we’re feeling adventurous, caramels.
  • My Dad, Sister and I venture out to Dollywood to watch the performances and drink the hot chocolate.
  • We always put our tree up Thanksgiving weekend of course.
  • As we were growing up, we all got a new ornament to represent our lives that year so we have a very eclectic tree. It’s so fun to look back over the ornaments every year though and remember why we picked a certain one.

Those are just a few things we do every year. However with my “new” family, aka JB, I need new traditions to make mine, so I thought I’d ask some of my blogger friends what their traditions are instead! I gave fair warning that I might steal them for myself and they still gave willingly. What friends!

 

LittleAslam

Myra from The Little Aslam

Every year, we go to look at Christmas lights and we always make a stop for coffee & hot cocoa beforehand. Usually it’s just Amir & I going to enjoy the lights together wherever we are and when we were in Houston, we used to go to Town Center with all of the siblings to go look at the lights and just to goof off (they usually had decor that you could take pictures with, so we used to do that)!

BourbonLipstickStilletos

Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos

We spend Christmas Eve with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There are 9 grandchildren on this side of the family, and we all take turns reading verses from Luke about the birth of Jesus. I’m 30 and still look forward to this every year! It’s such a special night and it’s wonderful to stop and remember what Christmas is really about.

500DaysEngagement

Jen from 500 Days of Engagement

Family: My family is originally from Pennsylvania/New York, so the holidays just aren’t the same when it’s 80 degrees. The one thing that still makes it feel like Christmas is going to a candlelight service every Christmas Eve. Our church sings carols and ends the service at midnight with “Silent Night”, and it’s the most perfect introduction to the big day. I never miss it.

Couple: As bizarre as this sounds, my fiance and I have a tradition of going to New York City at the end of every year. The first time, we went right before Christmas and saw all of the pretty shop decorations and went ice skating at Rockefeller. The second year, we went for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and then stuck around for the Christmas decorations to pop up. It’s the best time of the year in NYC and of course we Texans go out of our minds with joy when it snows. I think it’ll be a forever tradition for us!

[Tweet “A few of your favorite bloggers and their Christmas traditions!”]

GritsBlog

Ashley from The Grits Blog

My favorite family tradition is a new one that I started during my first year of marriage. We started opening one gift on Christmas Eve together and it’s just so special and wonderful! We also have a low-key pizza night on Christmas Eve then have a big family breakfast on Christmas day. Food is a big part of our family and always brings us together – but for some reason it just tastes so much better during the holidays 🙂

HeleneBetween

Helene from Helene in Between

The Annual Flournoy Family Christmas Party
Every year, since before I was born, since before my parents were even together, there was a family Christmas party on Christmas eve in each of their respective homes. (Side note, my parents lived 3 blocks away from each other and have one of my favorite love stories ever). They carried on the tradition of the Christmas party, but moved it to the weekend before because I worried that Santa might skip over our house since there were so many people inside. Each year, anywhere from100-200 people come. I most definitely tear up after a few glasses of my spiced hard cider and see all of the people I love in one room.

 So there ya have a few blogger’s traditions, now I want to hear YOURS!

Do you go somewhere every year? Bake the same treats? Listen to the same music? Spill it all down in the comments

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Small Town Fall Festival

Welcome to Wednesday Friends!

I finally got around to editing my photos from over the weekend. Not because I was too busy to do it of course. I only had a few episodes to go in the final season of Drop Dead Diva which of course took precedence over anything else in my life during my free-time. I’m what you can call a prioritization juggernaut.

Really the fact that I even have photos from that day is a victory. I usually either forget to take pictures, am too shy to ask anyone to take photos for me, or just plain forget my phone at home. It happens more often than I’d like to admit. I think my current record is having to turn back around three times for forgetting something. I’ve really got my ish together ya know?

Fall Festival

I was attempting to show you how awesome the solo cups I DIY’d into pumpkins looked on the trail but when the Sun was up you couldn’t really tell, as it got darker my photos turned out hazy like the one above and you still couldn’t tell, and once it got dark my phone couldn’t get a good photo. So this is what you’re left with…..

I am proud to report that I walked the haunted trail at least 7 times and was only scared for the first few. After that the kids knew when it was me and stopped trying to scare me. The final run through I filmed a few of the creepier scenes and got scared again but ya know, I’m alive and well so it all worked out 😀

So in case those last few sentences were confusing, or y’all just didn’t know, I’m still working a few hours a week at my local YMCA over some of their youth programs which includes the Teen Group aka Leaders Club. I’m the leader of the Leaders Club. So yea, Adulting.

I was also on the committee for the Festival, Though mostly because I had nothing else going on in my life at that point, not because I possess creative prowess. Oh and because there was free pizza at the meetings….thumbs up!

My portion didn’t happen until that night though so I convinced JB to come with me and invited his sister and family. We missed out on the hot air balloon rides by the time we got there but rumor had it that it was a bit too windy anyway so not many people go to do that.

I think the bets part was watching JB’s niece run around after the mascots. Here she is meeting one of her heros. No warm hugs were given though, she got scared as soon as Olaf got too close for comfort. Comfort levels are a bit different when you’re only  2 feet tall I guess. I wouldn’t know, I’ve always been at least 5 feet tall, just look at my awkward elementary school photos…..

Ty and Olaf

As obsessed as she is with Frozen (specifically Elsa), Elmo was probably her favorite. It took about 7 encounters before she would actually give him a high five and then two more for a hug, but when you spend an entire hour following him around, it wasn’t hard to “run” into him.

Also I don’t know if you can tell but she’s wearing an Elsa dress under her dinosaur hoodie. That kids got style and she’s already cooler than me.

She also went in a few of the bouncy houses and tossed some rings at the carnival games. At one point we (TY and I) challenged “Uncle” (JB) to a relay race and I thought I was gonna eat dirt after the dizzy bat portion. JB’s Brother in Law got it all on film but I have yet to see it so until I can, you don’t get that hilarious video of 6’5 JB racing 2ft tall Ty as I tip-toe behind her on the balance beam.

Our last stop was the pumpkin patch of course. Scratch that, Ty rode a pony and cried when she had to get off, but happy again when she got to pick out a pumpkin and leave with a goody bag. I think her dad was more excited though because he immediately pulled out a DumDum and ate it. That’s called Parenting done right.

Ty and Pumpkin

The pony ride definitely got the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. I think we all know what she’ll be asking for for the next decade of her life. You’re welcome for introducing that to her 😉

I did snap some “family” photos of everyone too but since she’s not my kid I don’t like sharing too much of her here. Judging from these photos, just the back of her head is. If you were to steal my phone and look through my picture roll you’d think she was my kid though. Or you’d think I was a creeper, which JB says I am so I’ll let you make up you own mind about what to call me.

I’m just gonna leave you with this photo that near about melted my heart to see….

JB and Ty

Seriously a kid and her Uncle may be the cutest thing ever, second only to a Dad and his little girl. specifically if that dad is my husband and the daughter is mine. I imagine that’s a pretty heart melt-y moment.

Have you been to a Fall Festival in your area yet?

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Join the Billion Dinners Challenge and Win Free Grocery Money

Hey Friends!

Remember when we talked about unplugging at dinner time?

Well I’m back. And this time not only am I gonna tell you about a cool dinner challenge to have with your family, significant other, roommate, etc, but I’m also gonna tell you how you can win free grocery money. Yup FREE money to buy you some groceries. Now who wouldn’t stick around to hear about that?

billion dinner challenge

So what is the BillionDinners Challenge anyway?

It’s all about reconnecting with your loved ones over dinner. It’s a way for you to challenge yourself and recommit to having some quality family time. Really be present in those little moments. In the words of Billion Dinners themselves, “Eating 10 fully present family meals over the course of 14 days may require creativity and flexibility. It may get messy, and there will certainly be days when it feels like a hassle. We’re not saying it will be easy, but we do promise it will be worth it. It’s not about what’s for dinner each night – it’s about the stories, the smiles, the fights, the laughs, the tears. And the one billion memories you will create with your loved ones.”

Why Dinner?

Having family dinners has a number of awesome benefits including;

  • Reducing stress
  • Increase wellness
  • Lower risk of obesity
  • Increase happiness
  • Form stronger connections
  • CHANGE LIVES

Seriously though, it may sound all cheesy and nice in theory, but with our lives so busy, dinner is a great built-in time for you to really connect and be present with your loved ones. Every one’s gotta eat right? And if you love food as much as I do, then dinner is already one of your most favorite things to do every day.

No joke, some of my favorite family memories of telling stories and laughing together come from when we were sitting around the dinner table. Many nights, dinner would end and we’d stay chatting around the table. Family game night was the only thing that surpassed this quality time (in my mind anyway).

billion dinner challenge

How Can You Participate?

Simply download the app which can be found in the App store (for both iphone and Android)

Next track your dinners.

Simply log 10 meals in two weeks for your chance to win their grand prize!

You don’t have to get all the way to 10 meals to win my giveaway though. Simply tag me (@kelsnsher Instagram or @blonderside Twitter) just ONCE and you can win $20 to your favorite grocery store. And who doesn’t like free money!

[Tweet “I’m joining the #BillionDinners challenge for a chance to win $20 grocery money! Are you?”]

What Can You Win?

Let me say it one more time. By simply tagging me ONCE in a dinner post you can win $20 of free grocery money.

On top of that, if you track your meals through the actual App and commit to the challenge, you’ll be entered to win the Billion Dinners official “10 in 2” contest. heads up guys, they’re giving away $100 giftcards. That’s huge!

Easy enough right?

Questions?

Will you be signing up to unplug your dinnertime routine?

Tag me and win that money!

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Celebrating Friends in Philly

Happy Monday Friends!

Y’all know I couldn’t attend a giant wedding bash in Philly last weekend and NOT write about it right?

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen some of the snapshots of my weekend, but I figured I’d go a little more in depth on here because I’m an adult and I do what I want. Except all the stuff I can’t afford because I’m broke as a joke and have student loans up to my armpits (#ThanksObama)

So here ya go, if photo dump aren’t your thing, then I’ve sprinkled in a few tidbits here and there for ya 😉

The rehearsal dinner kicked off at a Brazillion steak house in the suburbs of Philly. The food was delicious. Since I didn’t know anyone but a total of 3 people I didn’t whip my phone out for any photos beyond the people kind. Again it was dark in there as well so you just get the dress and accessories in the car over. I posted this photo of my entire outfit on Instagram and Kohl’s asked to regram it. Why? Because I went on a LC Lauren Conrad bender the other day and was wearing practically only her line. They have yet to follow through with that so we’ll see.

Wedding Rehersal

Next up, wedding day! Of course not my wedding day like a few friends thought I meant on Insta. Apparently I’m the type of friend to get married and not invite anyone. 😉

I did my own hair and makeup so excuse me for not being supes fancy. Actually I was pretty proud on how it all came together. Shocked really….

Wedding makeup

As you can see, even with pretty makeup on I can’t make a serious face. Ignore the lighting in like every single one of my photos, I claim reception lighting for some of them and the rest just bad blogger skills 🙂

I found the absolute PERFECT lipstick the day before we left and I’m seriously in lipstick love. It’s a matte shade and didn’t wear or rub off all night. I did reapply maybe three times between the hours of noon and midnight but only because I wanted to, not because it was actually coming off. I highly recommend. Mabelline Matte Lust for Blush.

Wedding LC Dress

Here is my entire look. Again the lighting was dark so I tried my best to lighten it up and this is what we are left with….weird lighting….. Whatevs. I wore on of Lauren Conrad’s new dresses from her runway collection. It was absolutely perfect and I felt so beautiful all night long. If you wanna know what this dress looks like on a model instead, look here.  I got it on sale (plus 3 other LC dresses all under $20) so really it was a steal.

I had a friend take a few different photos of accessories, the back of my dress, shoes, etc but those are boring and I’d rather show you a few fun snaps from the reception.

Wedding Friends2

Remember Jesse? She wrote this post for me. She’s also one of the coolest people I know who lives in Seattle now…boo, but she’s so happy so I’m happy because that’s what good friends do.

Look here she is again! Also I cut JB out of this photo to my right because he wasn’t looking at the camera and was I guess moving at the time because his face if all blurry. Either that or he self-censors himself in order to not appear on my blog. It’s really not my fault I swear!

Wedding Friends

So there ya have it. We’re a classy bunch. 😉

Ok, ok, ya pulled it right out of me. Here’s a photo of me and JB. Cue the doves!

Wedding Kiss

It was really so so fun though. And I’m so happy for Mr. and Mrs. Lint (who are currently traipsing around Europe, specifically the Swiss Alps!)

Have you ever attended a wedding that you knew next to no one at?

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Making Dinner An Unplugged Zone

I love dinner.

Actually if I’m being quit honest breakfast is my favorite meal. But being the only early bird in this relationship, I eat breakfast alone (and extremely early) and make dinner for two.

JB is the easiest person on the entire planet to cook for so it really makes me job a cinch. What we’re both guilty of however, is eating “together” but on our phones. Ick. How lame is that.

I know we’re not alone though. You see it at every restaurant you go to. People sitting around a table with their phones out and barely talking. (teenagers I’m lookin at you!)

Billion Dinners challenge

Growing up, my Mom always made a point of us all sitting down as a family for dinner. It’s where we talked about our days, joked and teased one another, and created those family bonds that have seen us through the many years and miles we’ve put between us as we’ve gotten older.

Having that same dynamic in my family now (even if it is only the two of us) is super important me. which is why I’ve teamed up with Billion Family Dinners for the #billiondinners challenge.

I challenge you to make dinner a priority and to really live in the present with whomever makes up your family. It can be your actual family, husband, kids, etc or your roommates, friends, neighbors, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re making it a meaningful time.

The Key? Being Unplugged!

Unplugged as in put your cell phone down, turn off Netflix and really be in the moment and connect with those around you. I promise it’s worth it. Don’t believe me? Watch this video all about the benefits of eating a family dinner together!

Join the #Billiondinners Challenge!

Billion Family Dinners has made it even easier to track our dinners as well. Simply download the FREE app, and start tracking! Then the goal is to complete 10 meals in 2 weeks! Totally doable no? The best part is that the one lucky person who completes the challenge will win a $20 gift card to the grocery tore of their choice!** Just make sure you’re tagging me when sharing your meals! (@blonderside Twitter @kelsnsher Instagram)

What do you have to do?

  • Follow Billion Dinners on Twitter and Instagram (oh and me too!)
  • Download the free app (available for Android and iphone)
  • Sit down to 10 unplugged meals (doesn’t have to be just dinner!) in the next 2 weeks and tag me @blonderside and @dinnercall along with the hashtag #billiondinners
  • **If you want to win you must tag me in your tweets and instas!**

You can also find them on Pinterest and Facebook.

Also it’s Fall so that means lots of cozy meals meant to be shared. Chili and cornbread anyone?

So whatcha think? You think you can have 10 family meals unplugged in the next two weeks?

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Museums, Babies, and Awkward Adult Encounters

Happy Labor Day Weekend Friends!

Anyone else just hanging out in their pajamas all day? Yea i didn’t think so…..

Does anyone even read these besides my parents anyway? Whatever, let’s go.

This weekend was my weekend of Ty (JB’s niece) For my birthday, she set up an entire weekend of plans for me including a day at the Boston Museum of Science. She’s pretty advanced for a 1 year old….

Boston Science Museum

 

I actually went to a cookout at their house Saturday, sans JB, He’s at a bachelor party all weekend in Philly. A 5 day bachelor party, but that’s a story for his blog….if he actually had one…which he doesn’t, so the story will never be told…..

Back to the cookout! I was the only unmarried, childless one there. The group literally consisted of married couples, each with a child, and then me… So the whole day looked something like the grown-ups talking and me splashing in the pool with the kids. Story of my life.

The next day was museum day though which is where the non-awkward fun began. (note; the awkwardness came from me, not JB sister’s friends). I drove over to their house and we set out to dodge the suicidal-offensive drivers in the city. Seriously, the number of times people will cut you off, move into your lane with no warning, and honk at you for them doing something wrong is astounding.

Now I’ve never been to the Boston Science Museum so everything was a new experience for me. This was also Ty’s first trip so we basically had all the same feelings about it. Except she actually fit on the hands on exhibits like the see-saw, swings, and really all the fun stuff so I guess she actually had more fun than me. Although she didn’t really get the Pixar exhibit so who’s the real winner, hmmm?

She ended up falling asleep on the way home in the car as I hand-fed her watermelon. Kids really are in too much of a hurry to grow-up in my opinion.

So that was my weekend. Pretending to be an adult but secretly just making friends with their kids, running around a science museum with a small child who’s attention span is shorter than a tweet, and binge watching entirely too many episodes of Hart of Dixie (anyone else from the South find that show slightly offensive?)

How did you spend your Labor Day Weekend?

Also I’m toying with the idea of a vlog….I know…but if you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask type away and send em my way! (comments, twitter, facebook, you pick your method)

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