Becoming a Mrs. (Life-Changing, Yet Not Really)

Jeremy Cavness Photography

This time last year, I was adjusting to the concept of being an engaged lady. I had a shiny, emerald cut stunner on my left hand and a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings in the backseat of my car. I was over the moon to start our married life together...and honest-to-God, there still isn't a day that goes by where I don't get goosebumps thinking about the future with Stephen.


I wondered several times about the degree to which being married would change me, if at all.

Would I become a different person? I didn't think so.

Would I suddenly have an urge to decorate for every major holiday? Yes. But then again, I did before.

Would I start spending my weekends in sweats and t-shirts, sans make-up? No. But then again, I didn't before.

Would I cook dinner for us vs. going through Chick-Fil-A after work in the evening? I hoped. For our waistlines and for my street cred as a wife.

Would I change my name on Facebook? Duh. I couldn't wait!


Truth is, being married doesn't feel a whole lot different than being engaged.

We spent loads of time together before September 17th, (okay, we practically lived together). We ate most dinners together. We visited each other's families on the weekends together. We shopped for the boat (our first major purchase) together.

I've heard a lot of women say they felt like they cashed in some form of their identity when they tied the knot. Honestly, I don't think it has to be that way. I still blog, (a hobby which my husband proudly supports), I still wear make-up on days when we're just bumming around the house, I still hang out with my momma (something I was afraid might decrease significantly when I got married.)

We still go on dates, we still text and email throughout the day, we still work out together.

If anything has changed since we got married, it has only been for the better. My favorite time of the day is when Stephen gets home (he gets off work a bit later than I do and I office out of our home) and we spend an hour just hanging out and having a glass of sweet tea in the kitchen, chatting about our day.

We cook together, too. This I love. It is almost better than shopping for Manolos. Maybe better.

 He chops the garlic; I cube the chicken. The planets align.

The less glamorous things in life are still eons better with your spouse. Paying bills, (something I did before as a single lady) is a bit more fun when you can spontaneously burst into a Journey songs with each other to break up the monotony of stamping envelopes and writing checks.

So what has changed? Well, for starters, I have a new last name. I have to admit, I'd been "Double L" for so long that trading in my "L" initial was a little sad. But then again, my husband carries an Italian last name and now I can pretend I'm a mob wife, a definite plus in my book.

I always have a fridge of ingredients from which we can prepare actual meals. During the stag days, my food inventory usually amounted to half a stick of butter, an out-of-date carton of yogurt and bottled water. Now that I cook, we take trips to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a week's worth of meals at a time. (Did you know that's possible?!)

I get excited over things like kitchen towels, Tupperware and new laundry detergent with added Stain Boosters (!!).

We have a medicine cabinet. With medicines for darn near everything. We rarely get sick, but I attribute this to the nasty case of nesting that came with moving into a new home. It seemed appropriate to buy bookoos of Advil and Prilosec. Don't ask me why. (But hey, if you happen to be over at our house for dinner and are in desperate need of Claritin with a side of Robitussin, we've got ya covered.)

We enjoy watching Dateline: Murder Without a Cause and load the coffeemaker before we go to bed.

(As I'm typing this, I'm realizing how geriatric and boring we sound. You're probably wondering when we plan to get hip replacements and dentures.)

Sure, there are times we want to strangle each other have pleasant disagreements.

But oh how I love that man. The way he turns up the heat in the house when we wake up in the morning, just so I won't have to shiver in the bathroom. Or the way he is able to make a really bad situation a not so bad situation by impersonating a cast member from Jersey Shore and subsequently causing me to laugh so hard I can't breathe.

Last week, I was waxing and waning about how my hair would look like a poorly constructed bird's nest throughout the entire month of March. (Due to the upcoming surgery, I won't be able to raise my arms over my head for a few weeks. I know, it's splendid.)

Without missing a beat, he goes, "I can wash it for you. And dry it. And I've watched you poof it. I can definitely do that, too. Don't worry. We'll get your hair fixed."

Then, thinking about what he may have just gotten himself into...

"Or I'll drive you over to that nice salon every day if we have to."

And then I realized. That's how my life has changed. I have an "other half". When one of us goes down, the other one steps in to save the day.

Or poof our hair.

Be blessed, lovelies-


J.Crew Spring Preview

Oh, why hello J.Crew Spring Preview Collection...I see you've arrived. How nice of you to join us.

There's nothing quite like a Crew lookbook to remind me of how much I love this store...and how much disposable income it's going to take for me to purchase the items in it. With all the punchy yellows and Easter-egg blues, this collection is the sartorial remedy for the winter cold.

I must admit that "cold" is defined a bit differently in Arkansas than in the rest of the contiguous United States. The temps are expected to hit a blustery 62 degrees today. Downright frigid, in my opinion.

Meteorology aside, I'm beyond ready to purchase some new spring attire.

How about you? Ready to add a few warm-weather pieces to your closet?

*All images via J.Crew

Be blessed, lovelies-


Dog's Day Out

Pinterest via Miles of Style

I thought we'd take a break from Confessional Friday today, just to keep things fresh and interesting. And because, frankly, I'm not in the mood to mess with Linky Tools today.

Instead, I thought we'd celebrate the furry friends in our lives by looking at some pretty pics, via Pinterest.

Pinterest via Emerson Made

Pinterest via Miles of Style

Pinterest via The Sartorialist

Kate Spade

Pinterest via Miles of Style

via Style Me Pretty

Tory Burch with her pup via Pinterest

Be blessed, lovelies-


Off the Cuff

via Sarah Klassen

Cuffs. The new bangles. The "arm party" look is still thriving, but lots of designers and style mavens are cleaning things up with less clutter and more, well, cuff.

The cuff is definitely a statement piece and can overpower a look if you don't style it carefully. But worn correctly, it's oh-my-lordy-be fantastic! Celebs like the Victoria's Secret model below have been seen sporting cuffs this month, so naturally, they're selling out online and in stores like crazy.

I happen to lurve all of the cuffs below. Now if I can just convince Stephen that I need all of these ASAP, haha....

1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6

What do you think about the cuff? Are you loving it as much as bangles? Do you like the cleaner, yet edgier look of the cuff? Spill it!

P.S.- There will be NO Confessional Friday tomorrow...sorry guys!

Be blessed, lovelies-




It's hard to believe (at least for me) that it's already Thursday  Wednesday. This week has been fast and frantic and frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way : )

Right now, my home office is what I like to call "an organized disaster"; papers everywhere, random magazines and books lying around and a disassembled desk in the middle of the floor, begging to be put together.

But I have coffee. And mini Snickers bars. And Excedrin. Which in my book, is a balanced diet.

A few realizations I've made:

1. Daytime television is awful. For all the stay-at-home-moms and retirees out there who are forced to watch this mess every day, I salute you. Not that I have time to watch TV, but I do work better with background noise, which brings me to my next discovery...

2. Pandora has become my best friend. I can officially say this because yesterday I was feeling frisky and decided to give another music site a chance, so...

3. I tried Spotify, only to realize that all of Twitter and Facebook could see my music preferences. Not that I'm embarrassed to jam out to Demi Lovato and The Beibs, but...

4. Okay, I might be a little.

5. The office supplies section of Target is going to get to know me real well.

6. One can never have too many Sharpie pens.

Alrighty, y'all. I'm off to write a few emails and make some calls.


P.S.- Thank you all for your very thoughtful comments on Monday night's post. It's been a rough week, to say the least. We're staring down the barrel of a complex procedure and lengthy recovery time and it's been hard to remember to count our blessings. You guys and this blog though are such a God-send and I'm utterly grateful for your friendships and prayers. THANK YOU.


Monday, Lovely Monday

Hello, my people. Hope you all had a great Monday, (or at the very least, a bearable one.) I'm out of town for a couple of days for some appointments, etc., so blogging is probably going to be scarce. The next two months around our house are going to be CRAZY as I adjust to my new home-based job, Stephen will be traveling to New York for work and I'll be getting ready for a surgery at the beginning of March, right after NWA Fashion Week. Whew!

I am reminded every day of just how amazing my husband is. Last week was rough, as we got some info that we weren't expecting. Like I mentioned above, I'll be undergoing a surgery at the beginning of March and obviously, I'm thrilled and elated.

Stephen has been an absolute God-send though. Every night last week and this weekend when I would get upset, he would scoop me up and let me bawl like a baby. I really, really love my husband.

So I decided to take the night to blog a little bit before the hectic next few days of work and life ; )

1) We have a new pet. We are unsure of the genus or species of this pet. It is a critter that has taken up residence in the vent of our clothes dryer. We've been hearing these tapping noises coming from our laundry room at night, but wrote it off to the water heater (which tends to be noisy during the winter). I was in the shower on Sunday when Stephen ran in and said, "I don't want to alarm you, but we have a critter stuck in the dryer vent."

Me: "Um, yeah. That's not good. Can you ask it to leave?"

Stephen: "I tried. When I unhooked the vent, it ran back inside."

Me: "Well what is IT?!"

Stephen: "Not sure. But it's big."

Splendid. Dandy. Swell.

On a positive note, I'm sure that I'll be able to load and unload my dryer and washer in record time now, as I'm not so comforted by the thought of sharing our laundry room with an unknown, vent-residing varmint.

2) I wore a "perky" ponytail today. Like, very high school cheerleader-ish. I liked it. If I can recreate it tomorrow, I'll snap a pic. Because I know that you sit around your house awaiting my next coiffure with bated breath...

3) Because I was in Little Rock today and tomorrow, I'm staying at my parents' house tonight in Central AR. My mom is currently baking cookies as I type this blog post and the smell is KILLING me. I may have one later.

4) ...or five.

5) I am oh-so-excited for the return of Sweet Home Alabama. I know it's a cheesy reality show and the contestants don't really shine a positive light on we Southern folk, but hey...it's great TV, in my opinion. And the main character is named Paige, (which also happens to be my middle name.)

6) I got a new chair for my home office which is under renovation as we speak. It's luxurious and opulent and upholstered in leopard print fabric. Can't wait to show y'all when the whole thing is finished!

7) I'm already sick of political campaigns. And 2012 just began...

8) Know what I'm not sick of though? YOU.   ; )

Talk to y'all on Wednesday!

Be blessed, lovelies-


Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

Hi girls! Hope all of you are having a fabtabulous Friday thus far! Confessional Friday is back today - woot woot! Took a little break last week, but I'm back and ready to help you all confess your deepest and darkest.

...but not really. Let's keep it light and fun, m'kay?

1. I confess that I cannot believe how much I'm liking darker lipstick right now. I've always been a gloss girl, but now....oh, I'm loving some lipstick!

2. I'm still grappling with understanding this SOPA thing. I honestly didn't know what the heck was going on yesterday. Alls I know (yeah, I said 'alls') is that I opened Google and 'poof'!'- big black tape graphic over the logo. Just give me my interwebs, that's all I ask Congress.

3.  I'm not loving this mild weather we're having in JANUARY. Come on, Mother Nature! We Arkansans live in sweltering heat and humidity nine months out of the year....the least you could do is to give us a couple months of chilly weather and snow!

4. I can finally announce that I will now be working from home! I recently accepted a position that will allow me to office out of our house...woot woot! I hope to tell you guys more details next week, but I'm so excited about this new opportunity : ) Starting Monday, I will have a MUCH shorter commute to the office...10 steps, haha! The rest of my team is based out of Little Rock, so there will be the occasional trip for meetings, but other than that, I get to enjoy working from home. So thrilled!

5. Do to aforementioned position, I will be attending the Walton College of Business Hall of Fame Induction banquet. Our company is a sponsor. I confess, I'm torn between a long dress and a short dress. What do y'all think? Any of the below you like?

From Dress Therapy

Be blessed, lovelies-


Meesh and Mia!

Hey girls! I'm super excited to tell you all about A Blonde Ambition's latest sponsor, Meesh and Mia! When the friendly folks at Meesh and Mia contacted me to take a look at their site, I knew immediately that this would be a great fit for the blog.

Any other sports-loving girls out there besides me?! Silly question; I know y'all love your teams as much as I do. And now, with Meesh and Mia, you'll be able to show your team spirit while still looking super stylish.

In their own words:

Meesh & Mia is where fashion, friends and fans connect. With our focus on the ever growing community of female fans who love to show their individual style, Meesh & Mia takes the latest fashions and combines them with your favorite school colors and logos. We provide a unique, fashion forward approach to University apparel whether you’re looking for something to wear to the game, to work…anywhere! We know you’re serious about fashion, we know you’re serious about showing your school pride, and we want to be sure you’re able to do both!  Shop our schools here and start experiencing team spirit with an edge!

You can connect with Meesh and Mia on their website or:

So please go show your support for your school AND for this amazing company! Let's give them some Blonde Ambition love, girls!

Be blessed, lovelies-


Ice Cream Dreams

Oh. My. Lordy. This spread for Mulberry's Spring/Summer 2012 collection (photographed by the amazing Tim Walker) has got to be the best thing to grace pages in...well...a long time.

Walker is known for his abstract, fantasy-themed photographs from which viewers can't seem to look away. The sorbet colors, the melted "ice cream cone", the boardwalk and pier backdrop...it's just too much!

This post has done two things for me:

1) I'm now craving old fashioned ice cream, waffle cone included.

2) I feel a serious urge to go shopping. (Which typically happens 6 out of the 7 days of the week.)

1 // 2// 3// 4// 5// 6

I love the thought of integrating colors from the items above into outfits this spring to create a Mulberry-esque look. What do these images do for you? Are you as captivated by them as I?

Be blessed, lovelies-



I wanted to take this evening to tell you all about the lovely Tess Labeth and her fabulous store, Savoir-Faire. I recently had a coffee date with Tess and got to ask her a few questions about the boutique, as well as her plans for the upcoming NWA Fashion Week.

Two things I should note before the interview:

1) Tess is seriously gorgeous. Classically beautiful with amazing style.
2) She's about as sweet as peach pie. And humble. And gracious.

When was Savoir-Faire established?

We opened on September 1, 2011. I actually began planning though in February of 2011, so it definitely took quite a bit of organization and thought prior to our launch. I'm a perfectionist, so I really wanted to think through all the details.

Tess (pictured in the middle, wearing the chevron-print dress) at the ribbon cutting of Savoir-Faire

What spawned your interest in participating in NWA Fashion Week?
Being our first year in business, I was honestly just flattered and excited that we were asked to participate. I also knew that it would be a great way to connect with other local boutiques, as well as with the NWA consumers! It was completely unexpected and I was honored to be invited to be a part of such a special event.

What types of styles and trends will we be seeing in Fashion Week from Savoir-Faire?
Our presentation will be Spring focused; lots of bright & bold colors, tons of texture and lots of layering!

Where to you see Fayetteville and the rest of NWA going in the next few years, in terms of fashion? And how do events like FW impact the future of NWA?
Due to causes like the current Shop Local movement, I think that local boutiques will continue to come together to produce events like Fashion Week. I think because of events like this one, small businesses will continue to not only survive, but thrive. There is so much talent in this area and it's such a tight-knit and special community; this will only help NWA in establishing and growing the local fashion community.

Why should people pay attention to NWA's fashion community?
There is so much talent in this region! From designers to small business owners to artisans, this area is rich in creativity. NWA is a fairly forward-thinking area when it comes to adopting current trends or embracing new concepts in terms of style. Locally-owned boutiques definitely have an advantage because consumers here want to own pieces that are unique and trendy.

What inspires the items you choose to showcase at Savoir-Faire?
Look and price-point are the two most important aspects I consider. I don't necessarily get caught up in brands or labels. My main focus is/was to carry pieces with classic, feminine silhouettes; items that truly flatter a woman's body. I also love bold colors and interesting textures. Additionally, price-point is also key when deciding what to put in the store. As a consumer myself, I want the average girl to be able to afford to look great and feel confident in her purchase. 

Do you have any personal favorite designers?
Just like with labels and brands, I never really focus too much on designers. Although, I was quite impressed with Victoria Beckham's latest collection. Christian Siriano also has some beautiful pieces. But again, I really just go more for "what looks great" and "what has the best shape".

What kind of girl shops at Savoir-Faire?
Savoir-Faire is a fresh take on everyday style. We feature lots of items that are classic enough for our young professionals to wear to work, yet still trendy and chic. My mom (who works in the store) even finds lots of pieces to wear. So there really is something for everyone here.

And finally, what inspired you to open Savoir-Faire?
I worked in retail for 10+ years and had a love and passion for the industry. With my degree (Tess graduated from U of A in 2007) and my previous experience, I knew it was time to do my own thing and live out my dream of owning a boutique. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love. I also wanted locals to have a place to shop that was affordable and still stylish. That's what Savoir-Faire is all about!

If you live in Northwest Arkansas, get your cute patootie on over to Savoir-Faire and let Tess and her girls style you up in the latest trends of the season! Especially young professionals...if you are in need of work-appropriate attire that still says "I'm stylish", Savoir-Faire is your ticket.

You can check out the Savoir-Faire website here or their FB page here.

Stay tuned with more from Tess and many other participating boutiques and designers in the upcoming issue of Citiscapes Magazine, with a special piece about NWA Fashion Week! (Written by yours truly : )

Be blessed, lovelies-

A Tan in Winter

Y'all know that I'm a die-hard fan of sunless tanning. The boring back-story goes as follows:

A good friend of mine had several cancerous spots removed from her chest after years of being a slave to the tanning bed. After seeing that, I decided I should forego fake baking as well. So two years ago I made a pact with myself that I would never set foot in a tanning bed for the rest of my life...and I've kept that promise. Tanning beds are one of the quickest ways to wind up in the dermatologist's office, which makes them far less appealing than being pale.

But giving up those UV rays doesn't mean you have to give up on a beautiful tan. In fact, sunless tanning products on the market today are better than ever. Gone are the days of applying self-tanner, only to end up with orange hands and an Oompa Loompa-like glow.

I love (and own) all of the products below, which are great for giving that sun-kissed glow year-round.

1) Too Faced Peach Leopard Brightening and Perfecting Bronzer
2) LancomeFlash Bronzer Anti-Age Face Lotion SPF 153) ClassicBronzer Brush #44
4) BenefitSun Beam
5) JosieMaran Bronzing Argan Oil
6) SmashboxHalo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer

Like I've said in many posts before, I love the Mystic Spray Tanning system. For around $30, you can get a tan that will last for 2 weeks AND will give you that color you so desire.

Mystic Tan is now available in a self-tanning lotion package, which you can purchase here and apply at home! I bought this too and love it almost as much as the spray version.

 To ensure that your Mystic Tan looks as natural as possible, remember to:

-Shave your legs and exfoliate your entire body before getting bronzed. It will create a smooth, even tan!

-Apply the barrier cream between your fingers/toes to prevent stains in places that sun doesn't naturally touch.

-Wait at least 6-8 hours after your Mystic Tan to shower or get in water.

-Moisturize daily to maintain your color long after the session!

Look, I'm as guilty as anyone of craving a deep, pretty tan in winter. But don't sacrifice your health and your youthful skin to be bronze. Try self-tanning once - I promise you won't be disappointed!

Be blessed, lovelies-


La Oficina

via Pinterest

Hi girls! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! We (Stephen and I) didn't do much of anything, which was just fine with us : ) We did finish putting up all the Christmas decorations and also cleaned out our 2nd guest bedroom, which we're going to turn into an office/library. We don't have guests that often and having two un-used rooms just seemed silly to us.

So naturally, I've been perusing the inter-webs in search of decorating ideas and furnishings for a chic home office.

via Pinterest

To my husband, any room with a tabletop and chair functions as an office. Give him a ball point pen and a laptop and he can work just fine. Neither gale-force winds nor harsh overhead lighting can stop him from cranking out spreadsheet after spreadsheet. He is a man's man. And that is why I love him.

I, however, crave a room that inspires ideas, cultivates creativity and makes me want to work. I need soft lighting, a luxe chair and opulent office utensils. I am, essentially, an office snob.

I also need a really awesome tape dispenser.

Below are a few little items that I think would look right at home in our new office...don't you?

1) Seychelles Chandelier by Serena & Lily; 2) Pink Moroccan Leather Pouf by Serena & Lily; 3) Martini Side Table in Lemon from West Elm; 4) Honeycomb Lamp w/White Shade; 5) Waste Basket from Ikea; 6) Zig Zag Rug

In other home decorating news, we are STILL waiting on the delivery of our new coffee table and end tables. I'm honestly beginning to wonder if we would've been better off to procure some timber and build them ourselves, at this rate anyway.


P.S.- Come back tomorrow to learn about Savoir-Faire, a store that's taking NWA by storm!

Be blessed, lovelies-