I Said "Yes" to the Dress!

Please note- This is not my dress..just a cute pic from Tumbr : )

Good Morning gals and guys! Well….
I said “yes” to the dress!

Coincidentally, it was the first dress I even tried on. I mean, of course I tried on many others just to make sure that it was really what I wanted, but first instincts don’t lie and I walked out of the store with my dress ordered! It will be here in two weeks- girl squeal!

I’ve got to thank Stacey at Always & Forever in Fort Smith, AR for her help- she is an absolute doll and has an amazing eye for detail!

Our goal throughout this whole process was to buy locally in every aspect of the wedding and luckily, Always & Forever is a privately owned store that caters to brides-to-be from Northwest Arkansas, so my dress was "local", too. If you live up here and need a dress for your wedding or a gown for a formal event, Always & Forever is THE place to go. Ask for Stacey and you won’t be disappointed!

Although I would love to show y’all the dress (and yes, we were allowed to take photos) that would be such a spoiler for my friends and family. I will say, it is a Maggie Soterro dress in Ivory. It is form fitting through the torso (to show off my figure) and “bells out” gradually at the bottom, ending in a bubble hem. Oh yes, and it has a dramatic, LONG cathedral train! I mean, I needed my drama, after all :)

I decided to go with an off-white as opposed to bright white, simply because the bright white looked a little neon.

I seriously cannot wait until September 17 now...I have dreamed about seeing S's face when I walk down the aisle and that moment, I'm sure, I will remember for the rest of my life.

Be blessed, lovelies-


Wedding Dress


So we lie here in the dark
All the wrong things on fire
In sickness and in health
To be with you, just to be with you

In your wedding dress
To have and to hold
'Cause even at my best
I wanna let go

And you hold me in your arms
And all that I can see
Is my future in your hands

And all that I can feel
Is how long ever after is
It's all that I can do
To be with you, just to be with you

lyrics from "Wedding Dress" by Matt Nathanson

My mama is coming up today to go wedding dress shopping; a day I've waited for my whole life. I cannot wait to spend the next two days trying on dresses, ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over the fluff and glitz and spending some quality time together as mom and daughter.

BHLDN by Anthropologie
I'm excited to have a "real woman" talk with her, too. I want to pick her brain about marriage and get her advice about being a good wife to my future hubby. She and my dad have been married for over 30 years- what a great example for S and I!

Monique Lhullier Spring 2011
If I do find the dress tomorrow or Saturday, I probably won't post on here, just because I want it to be a surprise for everyone (and my fiance reads this blog!) But I will have a girl squeal on here Monday with y'all!

Vera Wang Spring 2011

This is my Friday, so I won't be here tomorrow, but please have a great weekend!
Be blessed, lovelies-


Trend Watch Wednesday: {Spring 'Do}

I got a recent reader email that suggested I do another post on hair trends or styles or whathaveyou. I always say, had I not gone into web marketing, I probably would've become a hairdresser. The two are so closely related, you see.

Lordy, Lordy- I love anything related to hair 'do-ing! Positively anything. Which is why I'm writing about it (hair) today. This post isn't really about how to create the styles below because I haven't a clue. I can tell you how to write Perl Script or conduct web UAT testing (yes, I'm terribly tech-nerdy....are you sure you want to read this blog?), but I can't describe the intricacies of a french braid to save my life.

This post is merely meant to inspire y'all to branch out this spring and try something new in the follicle catagory.

I adore this hippy-inspired, braid-y, half-up thing this chick has goin' on. It says "I wear this hair 'do because I don't want to look like I try too hard, but deep down inside, I know it's way trendier than what you're wearing."

Gaw, y'all. This is just downright beautemous. If my hair looked like this every day for the rest of my life, that would be just fine with me. Please and thank you.

I lurve Alexa Chung. Her style, her wit and now, her chic messy bob haircut. Carry on Miss Chung, carry on.

Speaking of bobs, this one is so vintage it makes me squeal. If I weren't getting married in 7 months, I'd go out and do this asap.

And finally, I will be replicating this fo' sho' this summer. How fun and young is this braid/bun updo? Sign me up, STAT!

*All images via Pinterest

Be blessed, lovelies-


This is Her Story: {Rachel}

Good morning and happy Tuesday, Blonde Ambitoners! Today's guest star needs no intro; most of you in the blog world are probably already familiar with the fabulousity known as Rachel Dillard, author of Simple Little Joys, one of my personal fav blogs.

Rachel, (in addition to being beautiful, genuine and a real woman after the Lord), is one of the most inspiring people I think I know. Her story of getting healthy and losing weight for the RIGHT reasons motivated me to get my rear off the couch. Hopefully it will inspire you, too!

Rachel dealt with an issue that all of us girls have faced at one time or another: The Battle of the Scale. She is living proof that with hard work, sweat and a firey sense of motivation, one can accomplish anything.

Without any further rambling, here is the person I'm so blessed to call my friend, Miss Rachel!


When Leslie approached me and asked me to write a post for her blog, I was shocked and humbled. I never thought that one of my most favorite bloggers would want to put my story on her blog for all the world to see. As she introduced her new series of posts, I knew I'd love them because Leslie never lets us down! It's hard to believe anyone would care to hear my story, but here goes.

If you happen to be a follower of my blog already, you've heard most of this, so bear with me :)

Let me preface this by saying how hard it is to discuss this topic with the blog world. Weight has always been the topic I avoided at all costs, because it hit a vulnerable place with me and just made me want to crawl into a corner. I felt like the W word came up and a spotlight was on me, so that word was taken out of my vocabulary. I hope this doesn't come off as cocky or arrogant, because I definitely don't know much when it comes to weight loss--this is just my story, and if I can encourage just one person who felt the same way as I did, then I'll be happy. I had those people who encouraged me out of my deepest insecurities, and I am so thankful for them.

In the past, when I looked in the mirror, I never saw beautiful.I saw insecurity. I saw the extra weight that I was carrying around, the weight that I was hiding behind. I saw the size 18 jeans that barely buttoned on some days. I saw the struggle to find clothes in my closet that actually fit me. And I hated it. I hated the way I looked and I hated the way that made me feel about myself. I was embarrassed to go out with my friends, embarrassed to talk to guys, and embarrassed to even look in the mirror most of the time.

In my mind, I was always labeled the "big girl" of my group of friends. I went to Ole Miss and was in a sorority, so needless to say, I was always surrounded by beautiful, thin, confident girls. As much as I hated it, appearances played a huge role in the college dynamics. It was all about the guys, the outfits, the football games, the parties, etc. And I always (in my mind) seemed to stick out because of my weight. Luckily, I learned how to have a big personality to compensate for the "shortcomings" I felt with my appearance. But something was always missing.

Nursing school began my Junior year, and that was the downfall of the weight struggle. Stress took over, and spare time for healthy eating or working out was non-existent, and my weight skyrocketed. It wasn't an all-at-once weight gain...the pounds just added on over the 5 semesters of school. Before I knew it, I weighed 238 pounds and couldn't wear anything in my closet. The moment of truth came about when I uploaded pictures from my college graduation from nursing school, and I was too embarrassed to put them on Facebook. Too ashamed of my weight and how I looked to show the world my biggest accomplishment so far in life. I think I am the only one (minus my family) that has even laid eyes on those pictures--how terrible is that? It was the turning point in my weight struggle. That was the moment when I knew something had to change.

That was in May of 2010. Something just clicked inside of me. I was tired of looking at myself and not seeing beautiful so I just made up my mind that I was finally going to get real with it and do something about it. I wanted to be able to go into stores and be able to fit into a size they offered without having to squeeze myself into them. I was tired of having to shop in the plus size department for a college girl's wardrobe. Those two just don't go hand in hand. Even more than that, it affected me on a deeper, more serious level. I somehow made myself believe that no guy would ever love me if I wasn't thin and beautiful.I made myself feel like I wasn't good enough because I wasn't a size 2. I know now that that isn't true, but it was real to me then.

I have always been a dieter. Sugar Busters, South Beach Diet, Atkins, etc. Tried them all...succeeded for a few months...then bounced right back to the previous weight. So, I knew this time had to be different. I wasn't sure how, but something just had to change. And it totally did. This time around has been a completely different story, and it really has made all of the difference with my weight and my self-confidence.

To start off with, I downloaded two apps to my phone, both calorie counters. One for typical, everyday grocery-store food and one for restaurant food. So the calorie counting began. I cut out snacking, I stopped drinking Diet Coke cold turkey (which was the hardest thing ever--I was a total DC addict!), and I gave up eating out for the first few months. I'm not going to lie, those first weeks were miserable. I obsessed over food constantly, which was one thing I had to break myself of. And slowly but surely, those cravings and wants went away.

My mom and I started walking for 30 minutes every day, rain or shine. It was slow at first, but gradually we worked up to 45 minutes, and then 1 hour of power walking. Eventually I was able to jog for parts of it, which I never could do before. We always focused on interval walking (like 1 minute moderate speed, 2 minutes brisk powerwalk, then 3 minutes moderate and so forth). I also did Pilates 3 days of the week, the Firm workout videos when I was tired of just walking, and yoga every now and then. I got to the point where I felt like something was missing in my day if I had skipped a workout. I'll admit--I really like having that craving for workouts.

In August, I got a job as an RN in Jackson, and moved 2 hours from my hometown. I had lost about 30 pounds at this point, so my self confidence was slowly coming back. I joined a gym and got into a good workout schedule. The Elliptical became my best friend. This was when I found my favorite word...moderation. I learned how to eat what I wanted to eat but in moderation. Of course, I still cut out most fast food, the extra sweets, and too many carbs, but I never deprived myself. If I wanted Mexican (my favorite), I'd go with my friends and order what I wanted, but only eat half of it. And weird enough, I learned that I was actually satisfied with that much. It's like that concept finally clicked in my head, after hearing it over and over again. Every now and then, of course, I'd hit a plateau and couldn't get past a certain weight, which was so frustrating. Those plateaus will happen, so don't get discouraged if you hit a stopping point. I would just up my cardio a little bit, cut out a little extra calories, and the weight would start coming off again.

I'm reading back over what I've written so far, and it sure sounds like it was an easy road. It wasn't. I struggled daily. My biggest motivation through all of this has been encouragement from family and friends, honestly. I couldn't have gotten through it without them and their daily words of wisdom...they always know what to say to push me a little further. Another huge motivation is seeing results, of course. Watching that number on the scale get smaller and smaller and being able to put on jeans 4 sizes smaller than my previous ones was just what I needed to keep inspired. Leslie asked me what my biggest struggle was throughout all of this, and I really had to think about that answer. I struggled with getting over that insecurity the most, honestly. I struggled with accepting myself. It wasn't even about what others thought about me anymore--I had to love myself first before anything else could fall into place. That was a daily prayer throughout this whole journey, and still is. God reminded me in a powerful way that I am His creation, and I am beautiful in His sight.

It's been almost 8 months and I've lost 74 pounds. I look at the number on the scale and it still shocks me to be under 200 lbs. I pull on a pair of size 10 jeans and they button with no problem, and are actually a little baggy. I look in the mirror and don't see the uncomfortable, self-conscious girl I always knew myself to be. I finally see beautiful. I finally see self-confidence. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. Don't get me wrong about my college days--I loved every bit of them. Most of these insecurities were always held on the inside, so no one really knew how I felt. But I do regret letting my weight hold me back from doing and experiencing everything I wanted to during those 4 years. I feel like I've gotten my life back at this point, and it is seriously so refreshing.

Every day is a struggle, in all honesty. With weight loss, I have to look at it one day at a time or otherwise I get discouraged. I still let myself have chocolate when I want it. And on the days when I'm too worn out to work out, I don't beat myself up over it. It's a continuous thing but I have finally overcome that obstacle in my life. I finally feel beautiful when I see my reflection, and I feel like it shines more from the inside, too.

I've "officially" hit my goal weight, but I still want to lose about 10 more lbs. So that's where the 30 Day Shred has come in. I'm on Day 11, and let me tell you--it's not an easy task, but it works. You want to know a secret? I've never worn a bikini before. I've been to the beach approximately 13 times over the past 5 years with my group of friends, but it was always a tankini or one piece for me. So my next goal is to get bikini-worthy. I know that I'll never be Heidi Klum status, but I want to know what it's like to put on a two piece and feel comfortable in it. That's my goal by summer!

If you're reading this and my words hit a hard place with you, trust me, it's not impossible. I always viewed myself from the weight standpoint, but there's so much more to me than that. And there's so much more to you, too. I learned, through all of this, not to let my weight define me. Because my weight isn't who I am. I am a child of God. I am a nurse. I am a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I am confident, passionate, loving, strong, and beautiful, and although some days it's hard to think those things, I know they're true. And I'm so glad I've gotten to the point where I can finally admit that.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalms 139:14


Thanks again for sharing your story, Rachel.

Be blessed, lovelies-


All in the Family

Meet the newest addition to the "S" family; the handsome and sweet-as-pie, Jasper. We had a 10 minute long text marathon on Friday during which we decided that this guy:

Mr. Ari

...needed a friend to keep him company during the day.

We were actually in search of a small dog to keep inside the house, because I miss Max, (he's living with my parents back home now.) But as soon as we heard Jasper's story, we knew this little boy was the right dog for us. He was found by the Northwest Arkansas Animal Shelter about a year ago, hungry and covered in fleas and ticks. They were actually minutes away from euthanizing him when one of the shelter volunteers saw him being sedated and offered to take him home and care for him personally.

S and I both have big hearts for animals, (especially dogs), and this soulful-eyed pup made quite the impression on us.

I can't wait to move in with ALL of these boys in September!

Be blessed, lovelies-


Lo Boheme

I decided about .2 milliseconds after we got engaged that I didn't want to wear a veil. I do think they have their place in bridal fare, but they aren't really my style.

I do, however, fancy the idea of a beautiful hair accessory or headband. There seems to be an unintentional recurring theme of "vintage" cropping up in all of our inspiration photos for the wedding, so I really think a 1940's inspired headpiece might be just the ticket.

I think I've blogged about this vendor once or twice before, however I couldn't help but revisit their site today to oogle their goodies. Meet the loveliness of Lo Boheme.

From hair accessories to veils and garters, Lo Boheme seems to carry it all. Even if you aren't a budding bride, they have amazingly constructed couture headpieces, jewelry and more, sure to spice up any outfit.

I was immediately drawn to this one, the Claudine Bridal Hair Facinator. I have a fetish for feathers and its not-overwhelming-but-big-enough-to-get-noticed size fits my style to a "T".

And tell me, what girl wouldn't want to wear something in her hair called a Facinator.

I also fell head over heels for the gorgeous garter collection offered by LB, as well. I'm about 99% sure I'll be placing an order for the Cass Bridal Garter in ivory this weekend.

Whatver you're doing or wearing this weekend, please go make it a good one, m'kay? I'll see y'all back here on Monday morning.

Be blessed, lovelies-


...and a splash of Random


A little "random" goes along way. Which is why I allow myself only one day a week to purge all of my wandering thoughts onto the virtual paper we call Blog.

Because believe you me, if I didn't put a limit on the randomsauce myself, y'all would have moved on from this blog eons ago, dearies.

Anywho, no sense in delaying the inevitable. It's time for rando talk:

1. So, I met up with my fiancé for a lunchtime workout yesterday. After our exercise sesh, I went into the locker room to shower and change back into my office clothes. I'm putting the finishing touches on my make-up when out of one of the stalls walks this lady NAKED AS A JAILBIRD.

She then proceeds to start doing her own make-up, not 10 feet away from me at the mirror/vanity/bar thingy. Still sans clothing. I hurried up and packed up my gym bag and high-tailed it out of there.This might have been one of the most awkward moments in my entire 26 year life.

2. I tried to think of a clever segue into this blurb, but I got nothin'. Maybe one of these babies would have helped aformentioned naked gymgoer? I got this, The Miraculous® Bra, in fuchsia/hot pink from VS the other night and L.O.V.E. it to pieces. It gives a nice little lift and gives you the option of wearing it crossback or halter style. 

3. Enough about my skivvies, let's talk about gas prices and foreign policy. But not really.

4. I know this news is older than the Ten Commandments, but Lady Gaga has a new single, Born This Way, that I'm all over.  It kept me going and going on the treadmill yesterday and, like every other Gaga song, I probably won't get tired of it.

5. And speaking of Our Fair Lady, did y'all see her roll up to the Grammy's in that egg thing? Hmmm, could be a great solution for those pesky rainy day walks to my office.

6. Got my hair "did" yesterday (thank you Lord for highlights) and, whil'st there, booked my wedding hair appointment. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing my own make-up though. I'm super picky and typically end up looking like a circus clown every time I get make-up done by another person. And I'm not really sure Bozo Chic is the look I'm striving for on The Big Day.

7. I'll end on 7, because it is lucky. Or so they say. Whatevs.

Be blessed, lovelies-


{Cat}walk the Plank

This week, my style intern and fabulous protege Lindy is going to take the reigns for this trend-tastic TWW. She's good, so y'all need to be on the lookout for this rising star in the blogosphere S.T.A.T.

Without any further hoo-haw, here is lovely Lindy!


As everyone knows, fashions are constantly changing. I’ve always tried to keep up with trends but I’ve come to realize, sometimes what’s trendy is NOT always cute. I went from wearing heinous platform tennis shoes in elementary school, to baggy cargo pants and fake glasses in middle school. Then came spaghetti straps and ripped jeans in high school, and now I’m at flowy tops and skinny jeans in college. Not everyone gets it right, and it definitely takes a lot of practice, but once you find your signature style you have to OWN IT.

Reading Seventeen Magazine and watching the O. C. used to be my way of keeping up with trends, but I’ve never followed them as much as I do now. The toolbar on my Mac is packed with fashion blog after fashion blog, and after they were all voraciously read more than once, I came to the conclusion that SPRING STYLES HAVE FINALLY SPRUNG. One of my personal favorites for spring 2011 was the catwalk adorned with Whitney Eve’s new line.

Whitney Eve

I’ve always loved Whitney Port. Her simplistic girly style is something that I constantly try to emulate (ever since I first watched her on The Hills) and I was more than excited to see her line for Spring 2011. Let me tell you, it was love at first sight. The Whitney Eve collection is composed of chic pastels and feminine silhouettes that combine the eccentricity of New York City, with the go-with-flow attitude of Los Angeles.

The line is composed of striped patterns, animal prints (which are still on the prowl this season) and bright color combinations. Port’s inspiration came from the need to make wearable clothes for girls of every shape and size, while still keeping them comfortable and trendy. What girl doesn’t want to look girly and comfy? I’ll tell you, not a single one I know.

The way the Whitney Eve collection pairs belled out, just-above-the-knee skirts with billowy tops is ideal for a girl of any age, any career, on any day this spring, and it made me want to immediately see the other pieces of the collection. The chic design of the Whitney Eve line is a MUST HAVE for spring and I’m pretty sure I can hear your closet begging for some of these signature pieces right now, don’t you?

Diane Von Furstenberg

Ohhh Diane Von Furstenberg. There are many obvious reasons why she is so well known. Her fashion can transcend the turns of time, and that’s no less true for her spring 2011 line. The chic patterns that appeared on the skinny models of the catwalk made me wish two things- Number one: that I could wear glamorous clothes like these and look as stunning as they do, and number two: that I owned almost every single thing they had on.

The collection paired parallel patterns together with a carelessness that I would die to imitate. Diane Von Furstenberg’s line was made up of coupling of bold and subtle patterns that were inspired by an Isadora Duncan retrospective that Diane, and her pattern in crime Yvan Mispelaere, caught a glimpse of when they were together in Paris. The collection featured striking patterns, DVF’s signature cinched waistline, and perfectly tailored shorts. The arrangement of browns and greens together made Diane’s line look deliciously perfect for spring, and I’m not just saying that because those are the colors of the Starbucks logo, but because they were the colors of many short and cardigan combos. And who doesn’t love that? I know, for one, that every girl in the Maddox family loves a short and cardigan arrangement and once you see this line for spring 2011, I’m almost positive you will, too!


So Inviting

via Style Me Pretty

Well as you probably know, (and are sick of hearing about already), I am planning a wedding. Mine and S's wedding, to be exact.

Wonder of wonders, we have the church, reception venue and photographer booked! All in less than 1.5 months since the engagement. Not bad, if this OCD planner does say so herself.So now we are focused on invitations.

I LOVE wedding invitations. Actually, just pretty stationary and cards period. Here are a few that are inspiring me lately:

I love this Black Glittered Lace invitation from Kate's Paperie. It has a regal, almost royal quality about it. And c'mon, does it get any sexier than a black bow?

I don't know Kate or Michael, but I'm digging their invite seen below. It's the Modern Tweed Wedding Invitation from minted. and I think it's superb.

This I enjoy. I'm into the swirly font and horizontal scape of the text. It's the Charming Go Lightly invite, also from minted.

Heavy and intense, I think this invitation is totally our style. Plus, it's huge. Can't miss that one in the mail, can ya? From Betsy White.

I never fancied the idea of planning a wedding before, but I must say, it's far more fun than I ever imagined.

Be blessed, lovelies-

This is Her Story: {Kimberly}

Kimberly, Alexis and Kimberly's Husband at her 34th birthday celebration!

Hello friends! Today's "This is Her Story" segment is brought to you by Kimberly S.

Kimberly approached me last month with her story about her battle with a kidney insufficiency and the amazing miracle that is her daughter Alexis. For any expectant moms out there OR any young women that might be dealing with an illness or health dilemma, I hope this inspires you!

I got married March 18th, 2006. Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant my precious daughter, Alexis Jolee. I found out I was pregnant Easter Sunday. I was craving a Diet Pepsi and I do not like soda at all! I took at pregnancy test and immediately it was positive. I was so shocked that I took 2 more the next day. I found out the next day that I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was SUPER excited. I did not see what was coming though.

I started getting really sick quickly. I was so sick that I thought I was having twins, so I asked for a sonogram. There was only one baby, but I was still wondering why I was so sick. Through some tests, I found out that I have kidney insufficiency. I was never supposed to have a child. Thank GOD that I had EXCELLENT doctors that saved my life (and of course, God!!!). I stopped getting sick around 6 or 7 months. My doctor said Alexis would never be over 6 Lbs. She was 8 Lbs, 5 oz!!!! A true miracle! As I'm writing this, tears fill my eyes because God gave me one of HIS kids to raise. Through my pregnancy, he let me find out about my health, but also blessed me with the most beautiful little angel EVER!

I had to get several shots close to the end of my pregnancy due to early contractions. The shots almost made me pass out, it was not fun at all. Alexis wasn't due until December 20th, 2006 but towards the end of November I wasn't feeling good. I had to take several stress tests while pregnant to make sure not only me, but that Alexis was fine. Thank God she was! She was born December 10th, 2006 after a LONG labor. I went in at 7am Saturday morning and she would finally make her arrival Sunday around 6:30am. I pushed for 3 hours and fell asleep several times. I heard my doctor come in the room and say "We are getting the baby out." If it would have been 3 minutes later, I would have had an emergency c-section. God is so good and saved me. I would do it all over again in a heart beat to have my precious daughter.

My doctor decided pretty quickly after Alexis was born to put me on prednisone, a steroid, to protect my kidneys. It was a rough time in my life. I got mad at people quickly and was NOT myself. There were nights I would rock Alexis to sleep while I just cried because I could not sleep. I wanted to be happy about my newborn, but I was miserable about the drug. It didn't take long for me to gain water weight. I blew up everywhere and could barely smile because it hurt too much. It was also a rough time because people judged me for the way I looked. People didn't know who I was and it made me sad. I knew I was the same on the inside, but on the outside, I was 45 Lbs heavier with the medication. I have learned the hard way to NOT judge people no matter what they look like. After my doctor slowly took me off the medication (and my health started improving) I was judged again for losing the water weight. People made comments like "I would never be that skinny" or whatever rude thing they could think of. There were times I would come home and just cry because no one knew what I went through. They didn't know the pain I went through of losing the baby weight (45 Lbs), then gaining weight right back (45 Lbs) with the prednisone and then getting off of it and losing that weight. However, I wouldn't change a thing. Every struggle I have gone through has gotten me to today. We took family pictures when I was on prednisone and people have no clue it's me. I literally looked like a chipmunk. However, I am finally at the point where I see beauty in it.

I am SO thankful, truly beyond words that God blessed me with this angel. She just turned 4 and started preschool Sept 2010. She is growing right before my eyes. She is healthy, happy and the love of my life. I never intended on quitting my job, but shortly after returning to work, I put my 2 week notice in.

My faith wasn't as strong as it is now, but I know God had a plan for me staying home. I never asked my husband, I just turned my notice in and was SO excited to stay home with her. Alexis has such a heart for Jesus. Her favorite songs are "Jesus Messiah" and "Jesus Saves." She even sings her songs in the grocery store, loudly. But Iwill never tell her to quiet down when it comes to singing about our Savior.

Jesus saved my life and gave me the greatest Christmas gift that I have ever gotten.

Kidney insufficiency will never stop me. I take several medications to control my health and even though I do not like taking them, I know it's for the best. At recent doctor appt. I did find out that my protein count went up 200 points. I went from the 500's to the 700's. The doctor said if it reached 1000 or more again, that there would be concern. When I was pregnant, it was as high as 2500. Not good at all!! I go back in February and need prayers that I am still stable and that my count is okay. I had a biopsy 2 months after Alexis was born. One of my kidneys doesn't work at all, the other 50%. I do not need dialysis till I'm at 11% or less. The doctor said that probably won't be till at least my 60's so let's pray that it's even later then that or not at all!

Thanks for reading my story = )


Thanks for sharing your story, Kimberly!

If you have an amazing story or know a woman who does, please email me at
askblondeambition{at}gmail{dot}com. You could be featured in a future T.I.H.S. edition!

Be blessed, lovelies-


Happy Heart Day

via We Heart It

I've never put a lot of stock in Valentine's Day, but this year is ever so slightly different.

Saturday night we re-visited the restaurant where we ate on our first date. There was something ironic and almost magical about being in that place, seven months later, as fiancé and fiancé.

January 2011

As I look down at my ring finger a month and a half later since S's proposal, I'm reminded of how lucky I am not only to have my own "Valentine", but how lucky I am to have found true love.

Be blessed, lovelies-

Kate 'Hearts' Bloggers

Last Wednesday, I had the chance to speak to Private Practice star Kate Walsh about her new fragrance, Boyfriend. She was so sincere, funny and down-to-earth; a real "girl's" girl.

Here's what we talked about...


Kate= Italics
Me= Bold

Hey, it’s Kate. Sorry to keep you waiting. I just got off of work.

Hi. No problem!

I don’t know what you have or haven’t heard, but I came up with this idea several years ago. I think about six years ago to be exact. My boyfriend and I had broken up and I was in New York shopping and I missed him. I missed his fragrance, to be exact. So I went to the perfume counter. I was in Jeffrey’s in New York and I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to get a guy’s scent. Who cares? I don’t have to have a boyfriend to have this.” For some reason I felt some weird trepidation. I don’t know why. But I was like I don’t have to have a boyfriend to have a boyfriend scent.

And then a little bell went off and I was like, “Oh, cool. Wouldn’t that be a great idea for a fragrance?” And then I thought, “I’m not going to do anything because who needs another celebrity fragrance out there?” No disrespect to other celebs. I just wasn’t interested in that, but then the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. I would try men’s fragrances – a lot of girls wear men’s fragrances -- but they were too strong or too much. And then the story of it wouldn’t let me alone. I kept thinking of all the different ways to tell a boyfriend’s story and how everywhere I go – lunch, dinner, drinks, out, shopping -- women are always talking about their boyfriends or husbands and that was what was really inspiring to me. So two things: I couldn’t really find that scent I was thinking about that would give me that olfactive memory, and there was this story everybody could relate to.

I decided two years ago to embark on, not doing a licensing deal or a royalty deal, but making the company myself so I could be really hands on by (a) creating the fragrance and (b) designing the packaging and really coming up with the marketing campaign. Also, after I had campaigned for Obama a few years ago, I was very, obviously, I think everyone was pretty inspired by this sort of grassroots effort and what was happening virally to support and influence and inform the campaign. And I thought it would be kind of a great experiment to try to launch a brand solely digitally in terms of marketing. The creative part was also interesting to me. I didn’t want to go with a regular licensing deal because once you do that you’re just collecting the checks really. You don’t have much creative input or control. That’s a really long, rambling way to say how I started Boyfriend, but that’s where it all came from. So I started this crazy company and here we are.

Why did you want a to start a perfume line and when do you suggest wearing the scent because it’s a men’s cologne and women tend to wear something a little bit heavier in the evening. Would you wear it during the day as well?

Let’s see. The idea of Boyfriend was already in the zeitgeist. Women wear men’s watches. Oversized watches. They wear their boyfriend’s shirts. Their boyfriend’s jeans. It’s out there in the culture and in the consciousness. So for me it was embodying that same spirit. That feeling. What do you feel like when you’re wearing your boyfriend’s shirt? You feel safe, protected, sexy, small. I’m 5’9’’. I feel like I was born 5’9’’. I’ve never felt petite in my life. But you put on your boyfriend’s shirt or jeans and you feel tiny and sexy and awesome. It’s the same spirit with the fragrance.

I remember very distinctly my first boyfriend’s cologne, which was Polo Ralph Lauren, and going on a double date with him and a friend and her boyfriend from high school and then coming home and having that smell on us and going, “Oh my God, my shirt smells like him!” and having that crazy, giddy feeling. But also just that sense memory and how powerful that is. You smell somebody’s chocolate chip cookies and all of a sudden you’re transported back to your grandmother’s kitchen when you were a kid. It’s powerful in terms of the feelings it brings up and the storytelling that could come around it. That’s what really intrigued me. I love men’s scents. But when we were developing the fragrance I realized I really didn’t want to wear one as a steady diet. It was too much, too heavy. So when we were developing the fragrance we had this idea of having woody amber notes but we realized that, at the top, we wanted a floral. We put in the night-blooming jasmine and this juicy plum so it has a little juiciness that’s very sensual. You want to take a bite out of it.

Is there vanilla in it too?

Yes. There’s vanilla as well. And then it dries down to a little bit of the wood, amber and vanilla. Each component, like the dry body oil and the pulse point oil, is a little different. So they all layer really well together. The nice thing about it is that it’s not a huge, oppressive fragrance. It’s not a big fragrance that announces itself when it comes into the room. You smell it and go, “Ooh, what’s that?” It’s sort of edible. And because it has these different notes and it’s a move-in fragrance, it can layer really well with other fragrances. What I wanted was a scent of a guy left on his shirt -- a very worn-in, masculine scent. It’s got that perfect balance of masculine and feminine and that’s what we were striving for.

I love the promotional videos. They’re flirtatious and sexy and they tell a story. What kind of woman is this scent made for? What do you think the scent will give a woman or make her feel like?

In the beginning it’s this kind of romance about a guy and a girl and as the webimmercials progress it’s more about the memory of him -- whether she’s stood up or not. It was like, “OK. You know what? I’ve got my boyfriend in a box. It’s totally cool.” I wanted that feeling, whether a guy is in the picture or not. It was this spirit of “Wear the red dress.” When you get the train case it has a little note that says, “Wear the red dress. Love, Your Boyfriend.”


Stir Crazy: A Photoshoot and A Video

Collage by A Blonde Ambtition; photos via We Heart It

Gracious be. Thankfully I was able to make it to work today, because after two days of being snowed in, I was pretty stinkin' ready to get out of the house . I'm all about a light dusting of beauteous, winter snow, but good Lord- we got a whopping two feet!

Anywho, you guys took a poll last week about what you'd like to see more of on A Blonde Ambition. An overwhelming 90% of you said you'd like to see more personal pics and posts of moi. I heard you loud and clear, so consider this the start of an attempt to blog more personally.

I was postively bored yesterday, so I did a little video for y'all. I know I always wonder what you guys look/sound like, so I thought I'd let you guys hear me.  Plus I wanted to tell y'all thanks for the amazing support lately rather than write it in words. Let me preface this by saying I HATE the way I sound on camera.

I also decided to take some random photos in my super awesome snow-day workout apparel (sans the actual workout part.) Remember my thought about doing an Outfit of the Week post. Yeah, this would be the first "outfit", haha.

Zip-up by New Balance, cropped running leggings by Old Navy, socks by Hanes Her Way. Hair and make-up by Leslie.

Got some new lipstick last week and L-O-V-E it. It's from Lancome and the shade is Crushed Rose. Thought I'd show you.
Being redonkulous.

I think my efforts at the gym are paying off! Notice my trim(ish) midsection. Sort of. Eh??

Anywho, Wednesday morning I got some snow pics of my boys. You can see just how deep it was! Oh and another video where I sound like a complete hillbilly : )

Mr. Ari

...with his fav toy

So deep!

My fiance is 6 ft. tall. The snow hit his knees. You do the math.

So as you can see, we've been up to a lot of nothing. Which, in essence, really isn't all that bad. I can think of worse ways to spend a couple of weekdays. The Kate Walsh interview will be up here on Monday in its entirety, so come by and sit for a bit.

Have a good weekend.

Be blessed, lovelies-


Interview with Miss Walsh: Highlights

Hi, lovelies! So I bounded out of bed this morning about to explode in anticipation of sharing the awesome interview I got to do with Kate Walsh yesterday! Kate graciously took some time out from shooting on the Private Practice set yesterday to talk to some bloggers yesterday (including moi!!) about her new fragrance, Boyfriend!

And yes, she was ON the PP set when we spoke. How cool, right?!

Kate's team will be sending me a full transcript of the interview in a couple of days, but I wanted to first share a few highlights with you girls and boys:

-First off, she was so nice! I've never really gotten to talk to a celebrity before, especially for AN HOUR, but she was incredibly down-to-earth, funny and genuine. You could tell right off the bat just how much she cared about her new fragrance endeavor. I can say without a doubt now that Kate Walsh has to be one of the busiest women in Hollywood.

-One of my favorite questions that I got to ask Kate:

Me: "So it seems that a lot of what Boyfriend is about is feeling sexy. What is the go-to item in your closet when you want to feel dead sexy?"

Kate: "I love skirts and dresses and heels! So many times when we are in that Alpha Female position, a career woman so to speak, we don't get a chance to dress super feminine. I love to dress up in skirts and a killer pair of heels!"

-Kate mentioned that her fragrance was inspired by the scent of an ex-boyfriend. Following a break-up with a former bf, Kate ran out to the department store in search of a men's fragrance because she missed having his scent around. The idea hit her that, in essence, just because you don't have an actual, physical boyfriend, doesn't mean you can't have a delicious, masculine scent around. A masculine scent made specifically for a woman. You.

And the genius idea for Boyfriend was born.

-The perfume is multi-layered with floral topnotes and musky, darker undertones. It is also made specifically to blend and layer well with any other fragrances. It is a subtle, sexy scent that doesn't really "announce its presence", but rather slowly introduces itself in a room. Nice!

-The idea for the vintage train case in which the product comes was inspired by her favorite old movies that inspired her to become an actress. Cool, huh?

It was a surreal, exciting experience to talk to Kate and I'm so grateful to her and the amazing team at Digital Media Management that made this possible.

I'll have the full interview/transcript very soon (hopefully tomorrow or Monday), so be SURE to stay tuned!

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, Kate is launching a brand new series of viral videos today called "Dont Let This Happen to You", in conjunction with the other videos for the Boyfriend brand. Just in time for Valentine's Day. Check 'em out!

Be blessed, lovelies-



Hey guys and girls! I'm snowed in today since we have about 15 inches of snow on the ground, with an estimated 2 feet by day's end!

This doesn't mean the blogging stops though...because...

I was recently contacted by the wonderful folks that work with Kate Walsh, star of Private Practice and  Grey's Anatomy, to do an interview with the gorgeous star about her upcoming fragrance, Boyfriend.

I'm getting to talk to Kate herself this afternoon at 5:00  via phone and I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not really sure what to ask an award winning, A-list star, but I can't wait! I'll be sharing the interview with all of you tomorrow on here!

Wish me luck!!!!!!!!

Be blessed, lovelies-