Sweet 15

This weekend I had the privilege of attending my first Quince for my friend Eunice's daughter, A.J. The Quince is a very important milestone in a girl's life in Hispanic culture and it was so neat to be able to see this ceremony first-hand.

Let me first say, the ceremony's decorations topped those of many weddings I've been to. The had the celebration in a local church and transformed their fellowship hall into a grand ballroom. No joke! Crimson and Ivory decorations and warm candlelight filled the room, along with the sounds of AJ's beautiful voice and guitar. A.J. (the birthday girl) sings and plays guitar, so the ceremony was like a little mini-concert! Such a treat!

A.J. is such an amazing singer and I really do think someday she'll be famous : )

A.J. performed 6 or 7 songs for us, along with her accompanying band of a bass player, drummer and keyboardist. Our party favors were a professionally produced, (even shrink-wrapped), first CD, appropriately titled, "AJ" I didn't open it though to listen to it yet, because the packaging was so pretty!

As you can see, I'm not wearing the little fushia dress in the picture below that you guys voted on, not becasue I didn't want it, (I DID, I DID), but I waited too long to order it online and they didn't have it in the store. I'm such a procrastinator, really, it's bad ya'll!

But don't worry, I'm still ordering it, so I'll wear it on another occasion.

Instead, I wore something I've had for 2 years (no lie) that also came from Francesca's. I had bought it as a "goal dress" when I was in college and desperately trying to work off the freshman pounds that took my sophomore-senior years to lose. Funny how now that I'm 24, I just slid right in to it ; )

Here's me!

The Quince venue...just beautiful!

A.J.'s opening number! Such a talented girl, that A.J. Too bad the photographer who took this picture was not as equally talented ; )

Me and the girls posed for an impromptu "feet" picture...don't ask why, we're just silly like that!

It was a great weekend and I feel like I really got a insight into an important Hispanic tradition. Hope all of your weekends were a hit too!


Congrats to Jess and Nick!

One of my besties from high school, Jessica, and her husband Nick are now the proud parents of a beautiful little boy! Born at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon, Nicholas Gabriel "Gabe" Baureis weighed in at a solid 8 lbs. and 14 oz. I received a text just moments ago from Jessica and I'm told mom and baby are doing well!
This is the second baby for Jess and Nick (second little boy, actually) and they are such great parents. Congrats you two!


Fall Fever

I've got a case of Fall Fever and I don't think it's going away any time soon! I just wanna make a big pot of chili and turn on a Razorbacks game!

So I've been looking online for even more fall decorations and have found so many cute things.

*I should note, I'm a non-married, bill-paying, full-time working woman, so my budget doesn't really allow for tons of frivolous seasonal home decor...oh but if I could buy all of the things I've found, man would my apartment look like a model for a Pottery Barn store, ha!

And speaking of "The Barn", check out this adorable galvanized metal serving stand:

Our friends at Pottery Barn never let us down and this time is no different.

I also LOVE these decorative straw pumpkins.

So pretty and festive! But at $50-$70 for a pumpkin, I think I'll have to pass. Hmmmm, wonder if Hobby Lobby might have a cheaper version?

Very minimalist, but oh-so-stylin' are these branch curtain tie backs. From the good folks at Urban Outfitters, come these inexpensive tie-backs, just in time for Fall.

Not really Fall-specific, but I really dig this clean, vintage storage bench. I can just picture it with a burnt orange, dark red or chocolate colored throw draped over it...

So bring on the chili and college football...I'm ready!


Just Around the Corner

Fall is just around the corner and I'm so excited! Fall is my favorite season, mostly because it's not hot, the humidity is gone (yay for good hair days) and Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I always kind of decorate my apartment for Fall and Winter, just because I think if there's one time of the year you're allowed to go crazy with decor, Fall is the time.

I'm currently scoping out the internet for cool and cute Halloween decorations. Here are some of my fave finds so far:

I love this wreath from etsy.com. It's called the "Chinese Lantern" and I think the design is really cool. It's a little more contemporary than the usual seasonal wreaths, which I love.

These napkin rings, also from etsy.com, are kitschy, but fun. They are these over-size rings with cool black vintage crowns on them. I don't love the napkins they put them with, but with some plain black or black and white checkered napkins, I think they'd be totally cute in a Tim Burton-meets-Queen Elizabeth kind of way.

This may be the cutest Halloween bucket I've ever seen. I don't have children, but if I had a little girl, she'd be carrying this for Trick-or-Treating.

I found these nifty little tea candle holders and immediately fell in love. It's kind of an understated Halloween look.

In other news, last night was my very first Junior League New Member meeting, and I loved it! I think this year will be so fun (but really busy!) Our first project is to make scrapbooks for the Children's Shelter in NWA. Love having a few nights of the month to spend time with my amazing new friends!

Also, last week my mom and dad became foster parents of a cute little weenie dog. He wandered up to the business office of some of my parents' friends, the Logans. The Logans called my parents because they thought it was our own little dog, Max.

They look so much alike, it's crazy!

Pictured above is Rex. On my side nav at the top, you'll see a pic of Max. Don't they look alike??

I think it's so sad that people would abandon such a cutie like this lil' guy. But luckily, my parents found a loving home for him with a family that lives up the road from them. His new adoptive family, the Hughes, named him Rex and my mom said he's doing well at his new home. Apparently he hasn't even had any accidents in the house and loves to cuddle. So yay for Rex!

Ok, well I hope you have a great evening and fantastic Wednesday. Just think, we're one day closer to the weekend : )


Have You Laughed Today?

Because you will have after you take a look at this blog.

It's called "Handmade Gone Wrong" and it is a blog dedicated solely to the mockery of...well...handmade gifts gone wrong. Now we all know there is nothing more poignant and endearing than a handmade gift, (crocheted tissue boxes, anyone??), but "Handmade Gone Wrong" takes it to a whole other level. Here are a few of my favorite handmade disasters from their website:

1. Remember the stunning padded, lacy wedding albums from the 1980's?

They were ALL the rage. So throw on your white sport coat, pull out your Chicago cassette tapes and hop in your DeLorean...we're going back to the 80's kids!

2. I think today I'll wear.....

my crocheted hamburger outfit!

Really, there are no words.

3. Ummm...foot gloves.....

Don't you hate it when only the balls of your feet get cold? Problem solved.

4. For all you deer hunters out there...here's a stunning sea-foam green deer with daisy eyes, just for you! Things like this just leave me asking....WHY??

There are so many more items that are equally hilarious and utterly awful on "Handmade Gone Wrong", so check it out and let me know what you think.

So what's the worst handmade gift you ever received? What's the worst handmade gift you've been guilty of giving? Let me hear your stories!


Ladies, We Have A Winner...

This has been the nicest, most easy weekend I've had in so long! Oh, why can't the weekend last just a little bit longer? It's been a couple of days since my last post, so I thought it was time to touch base with all you Blonde Ambition-ers and give you a run-down of my weekend. Be sure and let me know how yours was, too!

Friday I got word from my mom that her photograph, "Sunbursts as Sunset" had won honorable mention in Front Porch Magazine's 2009 photo contest. Her photo beat out more than 250 other entries from across the state of Arkansas and is featured in September's issue, along with a spread on none other than Conway, AR's own celebrity, Mr. Kris Allen. Check out the issue here and take a look at mom's photo below!

Friday night Drew and I had planned to go to a friend's house at Beaver Lake for a b-day party, but decided instead to take the night and go on a much-deserved date : ) We met up around 7:00 to go see Brad Pitt's new WWII flick, Inglorious Something-Or-Other, Haha!

I really wanted too see the movie, but I'm sure like many of you, was a little embarrassed to say the name : ) It's classic Quentin Tarentino; darkly comedic, action-packed and fast-paced. It doesn't disappoint though and, although it's a little over-the-top, delivers a lot of story and action in 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Saturday I spent the day going to Walmart, baking and running some errands. Nothing too thrilling. Saturday night though, Drew and I paid a visit to our friends Vince and Melissa's house to grill some steaks and catch up. Vince and Melissa recently purchased a new house and it was great to see it with all their furniture and decor in it. They were just the perfect hosts!

This morning, we went to church and enjoyed a great sermon pastor Ronnie Floyd. He talked about how it is each of our duties to spread the word of Christianity to everyone we meet and every place we go. He also told a story about a couple from India who recently converted from Hindu to Christianity, which was really neat to hear.

After church, we went to Denny's for a de-light-ful breakfast....French Toast Grand Slam anybody?? Nothing like lots of trans fatty sugary goodness to complete the morning, ha! Not sure what else we'll do today, but the weather is PERFECT and I'm all about enjoying it since cold weather is probably not far around the corner!

Thank you to all who voted on the dresses for my upcoming event! I'm happy to announce that we have a winner....After careful consideration I have decided to go with....drum roll please......

Contender #2 from Francesca's Collections! I'm so pale right now (trying to cut back on visits to the tanning bed), so I'm probably going to need all the color I can get from the dress! Now, NO MORE Grand Slams if I want to squeeze into this thing by Saturday : )

Have a great Sunday and don't forget to thank God for all the good things in your life today!


Rain, Rain Go Away

It's raining today and my hair is not happy. I woke up this morning to, (what I thought), was the roof being torn off my apartment. Alas, it was only a gigantic clap of thunder, but scary none-the-less. So I'm sporting the poofy ponytail today, the most rain-friendly, humidity-proof hairstyle I could think of.

It's all drizzly and nasty outside, which just makes me want to take a N-A-P! I think adults should get nap times too. In fact, it should be a madatory thing, like a lunch hour, in the corporate world. I'm in favor, what do you guys think?

So I'm having a dilemma girls. I DON"T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR!!!!!

I've been invited to attend my friend Eunice's daughter's 15th birthday party called a Quincenera next Saturday. This is a traditional Hispanic birthday celebration that's kind of like the American celebration of a Sweet 16. I'm so thrilled to be participating in such an important event in her daughter's life, but I am so bored with my wardrobe right now.

Here are some pics and links to a few frocks I found online that I love. So here goes, I need feedback from you lovely ladies. Which one do ya'll like? (Just click on the pic to see a better view on the vendor's websites.)

Contender #1- Francesca's Collections

Contender #2- Francesca's Collections

Contender #3- Francesca's Collections

Contender #4- Dillard's


I Don't Wednesday

I've found a blog I love called Jenna's Journey and she does a weekly blog hop on Wednesdays called, fittingly, "I Don't Wednesday". Each Wednesday, readers make their own lists of "I Don'ts" and publish them in a post in their own blogs.
So I thought it might be fun to participate this week! I'd love for you to share a list of your own I Don't-s with me!

  • I don't know if I'm really digging my brown-ish hair anymore. I kinda miss being a blonde (See pic above) : ) Though I do think brown is a beautiful hair color and wish I could pull it off better!

  • I don't think exercise can ever make you feel as happy as Coldstone ice cream can.

  • I don't know what I would do without my mom.

  • I don't believe in settling for less; go after what you really want in life and say buh-bye to the people that don't encourage you along the way!

  • I don't mind a busy schedule. This means I've got things to do and people to see.

  • I don't mind waking up early. If you've never walked through a big city right when the sun is coming up and the street vendors are just opening up shop, I highly suggest you do it...it's like watching the world wake up.


Mood(y) Music

Molley Moody, a friend from my hometown of Heber Springs, has just come out with her first CD, Close To You.

Close To You is a little bit Amy Grant and a little bit India Arie. It' s a sweet, soulful mix of guitar, percussion and cello, which beautifully compliment Moody's soothing vocals.

You can sample Close To You at Molley's website by clicking here.

Molley Moody graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Molley writes all of her own songs, plays guitar and sings and is currently touring with top gospal recording artist, CeCe Winans. Her song, "In Your Hands," was featured on recording artist Christy Nockel's 2009 album, Life Light Up.

Of her new album, Molley says, "I wanted to title the album Close To You because that is the heart behind all the songs. It's kind of like my way of telling God that no matter what I'm going through, I just want to be near him."

So check out Close To You and let me know what you think!


Happy Birthday Madre!

Happy Birthday to my favorite (and only) Mom! She is turning 29 today for the 20th year in a row! (You do the math : )

My mom is my best friend and I'd go nuts if we didn't talk at least once a day...so here's to you Mom! May your b-day be the best yet.


Show Us Your Life- Fave Vacation Spot Edition

Kelly's Korner is hosting their weekly Show Us Your Life blog hop, which this week will feature readers' Favorite Vacation Spots. This is my first time participating in SUYL, and I'm excited!

Basically, all of Europe qualifies as my favorite get-away spot. I was blessed to be able to go visit Drew in Austria while he was studying abroad in college. So at Thanksgiving break, I took an 11 day adventure across Europe with him as my college graduation present from my parents. So enjoy some pics below! I loved every moment of traveling around by plane and train and enjoying some of the most magnificent sights in the world.

Rome, Italy

Florence, Italy

St. Mark's in Venice, Italy

Tasting real Italian gelato in Venice

Vienna, Austria: Cold, icy and absolutely beautiful. This was the day I arrived and wanted to look cute for Drew, since I hadn't seen him in about 3 months. So I wore really dainty flats with my dark jeans and fitted black shirt with matching pea coat and coordinating scarf. Ever the slave to fashion, I'd rather risk freezing to death than look frumpy.
Little did I know that it had snowed the night before and I had to trudge around the whole day in little slippers, Ha! I think it took me a whole night to warm my feet up : )
But a beautiful place it was...and I was with a great guy, so the frost-bitten feet were worth it.

My fave places included Florence, Rome, Venice and Vienna, but I'd love to see yours too. Visit Kelly's Korner and participate in the hop or just check out other reader's blog postings!


Year of the Sweet Potato Queens

Ok, I first need to explain the title of this post : )
There are 44 new members (yay!) in the Junior League of NWA for 2009-2010. Each year, the new member class is divided into 4 groups of ladies. My group is the Green Group and we so-very-aptly named ourselves the "Sweet Potato Queens", after the fiesty ladies in the best selling book. Clear as mud?

Here are (as promised) LOTS of pics from the retreat.
Beginning our night at Christy's house with a yummy dinner, scavenger hunt and video.

The Green, Blue, Purple and Red Tables. Naturally, Green was the cutest ; )

Photos from the Scavenger Hunt! I'm wearing the orange top. The 3rd pic down is of our "Glory Run", right after we found the last item on our list, ha! Of course The Sweet Potato Queens won.

These pics are from Saturday's work day at the "That's My Bag" storage shed. We spent the day cleaning out the storage facility and stuffing bags for needy/displaced children in Northwest Arkansas. It was overwhelmingly rewarding to know all that sweat was going to a good cause.

Here are our 4 wonderful team leaders: Stephanie, Cara, Shay and Christal.

Beautiful "Sweet Potato Queen/Green Team" photo

And beautiful blue, purple and red photos too!

Our amazing President, Mrs. Kamron Whitehead