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WHAT’S IN MY BEACH BAG?

I’m in Vancouver for a few days – and there’s nothing quite like summer in Vancity. It feels like there’s a sandy beach everywhere you look, and I’ll definitely be catching a few rays at some of my fav spots (Kits Beach and Spanish Banks are two of my go-tos.) Kits is surrounded by great spots to grab lunch, and patio cocktails, and Spanish Banks is the perfect place to get my Frisbee on. (I’m terrible at it but it’s fun anyways). Obviously, I never show up to the beach unprepared. Snacks, sunscreen, sunnies — you’d think I was packing for a weekend away…

beach-favesAnyways, here are a few beach bag essentials I never leave the house without:

  1. Beach Bag | The most important thing? The bag. I’m in love with this Sun N Sand Straw Tote from Swim Outlet. It’s big enough to fit just about anything, and the twisted handle gives it a beachy, boho vibe.
  2. Beach Towel | Rectangle towels are so last year. This ‘Palm Springs’ Round Beach Towel by The Beach People is gigantic and perfect for lounging in the sun. I dare you not to fall asleep! It’s big enough for two!
  3. Cover Up | This summer I’m loving the boho look, so I couldn’t say no to this Gypsy Crochet Cover up from Nordstrom. It’s super comfy and perfect for slipping on over my swimsuit.
  4. Hat | It’s not summer without a straw hat. This Here We Go Panama Hat from Roxy may keep my face out of the sun, but it has me feelin’ hot!
  5. Sunglasses | If it were acceptable to wear shades inside, I would never take these off. They’re ‘The Hamptons’ sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect and they spice up any outfit. Plus, they look fab with a messy bun. At least thats what I tell myself.
  6. Bikini | Sun’s out buns out! This Hippie Hooray Crochet Bikini from Billabong is the ultimate swimsuit. I love rocking the top with a pair of jean shorts and strappy sandals.
  7. Water Bottle | How cute is this S’well Waikiki water bottle? There is nothing worse than warm water on a smoking hot summer day, and this bottle keeps drinks cold ALL day long. Plus…look at it!
  8. Sandals | It’s pretty rare to find sandals that are cute and comfy, but these Stuart Weitzman Corbata Sandals are both comfy and chic— and have just the right amount of bohemian flare.
  9. Lipstick | I always throw a lipstick in my bag. You never know where the day is going to take you and MAC’s ‘Honey Love’ is perfect for any occasion. Post beach drinks here I come!
  10. Sunscreen | Last but NOT least: sunscreen. I never leave the house without lathering up. I’m against wrinkles, and all for protecting your skin. This Sun Bum Sunscreen is a lifesaver for a sun bum like me. It goes on super smooth, smells nice, and you can wear it in the water.


Anything else I absolutely need in my beach bag? Let me know what you don’t leave your house without!

Love,

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Adding Edge to Your Spring!

I don’t know about you, but I love a good combat boot in the spring. I know when you hear boots you think about winter, but not me! I try and add a touch of edge to all of my outfits. Whether it be a choker, a chunky belt, a bright lip, sunnies, or a bad ass boot, I like to keep it sassy. So, I decided to give you guys a couple of cute, edgy, easy spring outfit ideas!

One of Shawn’s favorite looks I do (often) is jeans and a tee. I LOVE this basic “Skippy heather grey tee” from Tobi.com paired with One Teaspoon ripped jeans and a simple heel. I also do this same outfit but with their “Cool Girl white jersey knit tee.” I added my go to flannel around the waist because, why not. It’s cool and maybe I’ll get cold later? Got to be prepared with style!

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This next one is right up my alley. A crop top. I have dressed this one up for a charity event with dress pants, and in this photo I’ve dressed it down with One Teaspoon jean shorts and a cute black hat. You can’t see, but here’s where I threw in my combat boots. Floral on top and bad ass boots down low. Don’t be afraid to go there!! The top is also from Tobi.com and is called “Smell the Tulips crop top”!

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Now, should I have ironed or steamed this next one? Sure, but like I said, I keep it sassy. haha. Ok that’s an excuse, I just don’t iron. Again, I am always gravitating towards a good crop. Now mix that with off the shoulder and lace? SOLD. This is Tobi’s “Haven off shoulder crop”. I love the color as well. I’m a big fan of an olive shade. Since it’s sort of a boho feel, I paired it with my gladiator style sandals. I seriously believe I got these from Payless Shoes. Sounds like something I would do.

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I think it’s all about how you put an outfit together. Like I said, a bright lip can spice it up, a booty, accessories, and even a cute bralette! There’s one called “Mojave tent halter” from Tobi, that I put under my body suits. Shows a little knit, and could also be a bathing suit top! Or at least I think so….

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What’s your fav spring style? I’m always down for new ideas!

Toodaloo for now!

Love,

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NEWS FLASH!! VALENTINE’S DAY ISN’T JUST FOR COUPLES!

I know it’s a couple days past Valentine’s Day now…but I’m still reminiscing about the Galentine’s Day party I got to host at Hotel Bel-Air in LA with Wedding Paper Divas and Mindy Weiss. Guys, Mindy Weiss…She has done all Bachelor weddings! She also did Ellen and Portia’s wedding, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s…I could go on, but you should just look her up.

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We wanted to celebrate ALL kinds of love at our Galentine’s Day party. Who’s to say it’s just for couples? IT’S NOT. So all you single ladies and gents need to get on board with the new trend of just celebrating all kinds of love on that day. Consider this my heads up for next year. No pity parties and complaining about being single. When I was single, my girlfriends and I would have the BEST night out to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We would pass around a bottle of wine with no glasses (classy), and start what we called the “feel good circle.” You go around the room and everyone tells one person what they love about them. And everyone gets a turn to feel good. When you’re done, let me tell you…YOU FEEL THE LOVE 🙂 Although we didn’t do the feel good circle at our event, with Wedding Paper Divas and Mindy Weiss in charge of the party, the room was full of love down to every creative detail.

Wedding Paper Divas is SO creative and has ideas that can be affordable too! I left feeling inspired. Take a look at these invitations, napkins, and love notes. Adorable!! One love note says, “I love you more than….” and under it I wrote a bold statement. I said wine, and made it for Shawn. That’s love right?? @calligkatrina helped me with the calligraphy so that it looked pretty too.

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Everywhere I looked, there was something to inspire the ladies in the room, The pillows and coasters were even speaking my language. Shutterfly nailed it.

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They really thought of everything. From a photo booth room with LA Photo Party, that had a balloon theme backdrop done by Balloon celebrations, to a lips and lashes station by Liz Castellanos (@makeupbyliz) for girls to get glammed up!! I actually stole a couple packets of her lashes from her because they were so fabulous. I also had a chance to sit down with caricature artist James Malia so that he could sketch me!! I looked him up after and he’s done everyone from Betty White to Brad Pitt! So he’s kind of a big deal…

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I had such an amazing time celebrating love with the gals! I wanna hear about your Galentine’s Day parties!!

Love,

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AN OPEN LETTER TO SHAWN B., AND HOW HE MAKES OUR DATE NIGHTS MORE ROMANTIC THAN THE BACHELORETTE

Everyone always asks, “What happens after the show when the extravagant dates are over and there are no more helicopters and beaches?” and my response is always this. Shawn and I didn’t get those kinds of dates on the show. Our first date was a group date, which believe it or not, is not romantic. And he was in a diaper sumo wrestling. Our first one on one was kayaking in Texas, and then hanging out by a bonfire (okay fine, it ended with us in a canoe watching the fireworks). And then we went golfing. Those are pretty chill, laid back dates for the show and I’m glad it happened the way it did. We didn’t get caught up in the setting, we got caught up in conversation. We talked real talk, and did real life things. Our vision of life together wasn’t blurred with unrealistic expectations. When it came time to being together off the show ,simple things such as going for dinner, became much more romantic than any of our Bachelorette dates. There were no producers telling us what to talk about, there were no cameras, no pressure, and we could eat the food! HA!

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Shawn if you’re reading this, which I’m sure you are because I will probably show you…I love you. Thank you for working through anything and everything with me. Thank you for loving how weird I am, and for still being attracted to me knowing I am Rick. Thank you for working hard and wanting to set up a beautiful life for us. Your soul is attractive to me. The way you light up when you talk about kids (and dogs) gives me all the feels. You’re loyal, funny, smart, romantic, and really friggen attractive. You’re stubborn and I can relate. You’re also very quick to admit when you’re wrong, which I cannot relate to. But you inspire me to try. The way you care for people you love has shown me how trustworthy you are. I remember once asking your sister how it’s possible that you’re THAT good looking, and still a good person. And her response was, “I know he’s my brother but, he really is”. People always ask, “What’s the biggest surprise about Shawn that you have learned after the show?”…and I’ve realized, the thing that has surprised me is that you ARE that good looking with a heart of gold. It’s something you hope for when you get engaged to someone you barely know, haha…But you don’t know until you spend real time with them. And you have surprised me  with just HOW special you are. I can’t believe I found you on a reality tv show, and that I never believed in soulmates. I never knew I had a type until I met you. You are my type. I love you, Shawn B.

I always say this. People paint such pretty pictures on social media, and we have to remember that all relationships need work. We just don’t showcase our imperfections on Instagram. To be honest, I’m not sure people would want to see those things anyways. We aren’t perfect. But we are perfect for each other. Shawn and I work through things, laugh a lot, love hard, and pride ourselves on being quite “normal”. And on days like Valentine’s Day, we choose to REALLY embrace our romantic sides!! (Especially Shawn). When Shawn plans a date, I know I’m in for something more romantic than any Bachelorette date I’ve ever been on. I like to share these things with you guys because i know if you’re reading my blog it’s because you care about us and enjoy my brags. 🙂

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I woke up yesterday to breakfast in bed, a foot rub, and a card on my pillow. The card had an itinerary that said 8:30am breakfast in bed, 9-10am a foot rub, and at noon we were going ballroom dancing. Seriously?? I couldn’t stop smiling and I had barely opened my eyes. This is classic Shawn. He is thoughtful, sentimental, and romantic. I got out of bed and he had a lock box out on the counter. He put his phone in it, and gave me the key. He knows I hate when we are on our phones and that was just one more thing he thought of. We took Tucker for a quick walk and headed to the dance studio. Shawn is so much fun, he can laugh at himself and do things that might make him uncomfortable – if it means something to me. We learned the rumba and started on swing! I can’t wait to go back next week. We will be professionals by the time we get married. After that we headed to the movies. I could watch musicals all day, everyday, so he took me to see La La Land. I loved every minute and that was our FIRST time at the movie theatre together. By that time it was dinner, and since we had our dinner date the night before at our favorite restaurant, we made dinner at home and crawled into bed to start a new Netflix series. It was honestly one of my favorite days with Shawn. I didn’t know how he would top his gift last year of getting Canaan Smith to sing our song to us privately while we painted a picture together. But this was just as special. I feel pretty lucky that this is the kind of guy I get to spend the rest of my life with. I never like pretending we are perfect, because we all know that no relationship is. But days like yesterday reassure me that I have found my guy and I will work hard to always be his girl.

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And if you’re wondering what I did for him… Nothing. JUST KIDDING. I wrote him a book and made it into a hard cover copy called “Reasons I love Shawn B” with little stick figures of us and rhymes about why I love him. I also made a gift basket that said “I love you with all 5 senses”. Smell, I got him his favorite cologne. Taste – a Starbucks card and his favorite chocolate bar, which I’m sure I will end up eating. Sound – I went old school and got him a Blake Shelton CD. And then a couple personal gifts that you don’t need to know…TEE HEE!! Cant give it ALL away.

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Thank you to everyone who constantly supports our relationship and I hope that no matter who you celebrated the day with, or even if you didn’t at all, that you still showed yourself love. Because self love is the most important.

Love,

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DROP JAWS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it always makes me pause and think of the people that I’m so lucky to have in my life. Sometimes, Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap. I get it, it’s been stamped a “Hallmark Holiday”, but I just don’t see it that way. I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t have just one day to celebrate love. Yes, that’s true. But we also shouldn’t have just one day to celebrate our mothers or our fathers. Having a day dedicated to love makes life a whole lot more interesting if you ask me. The chocolates, flowers and dinners are just a bonus.

This year, Shawn and I haven’t quite decided if we’re going to paint the town red – or have an intimate dinner for two at home. I did come across some cute looks though, and if you’re still looking for a date night outfit, your search is officially over.

Kick on some heels and show off a hot pink pout – these fashion pieces will have heads spinning on V-day!

Love,

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MOVING AIN’T THAT BAD WHEN YOU HAVE TWO MEN AND A TRUCK!

So, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you follow my snaps and know we recently moved! When we decided that it was time, I was stressed at the very thought of packing, moving, lifting, and everything in between. Shawn said it would be a good workout, and I said, it would be a good idea to call some movers. This one name stuck out to me, because I saw their truck around town and it was simple. Two men and a truck!

When I contacted the company, they responded within minutes and were there to help and make our lives easier. These two men were there the morning we needed them. They showed up with smiles and they were ready to get down to business. I literally sat back and felt like a screen door on a submarine. Useless. They did it all, and more importantly, were HAPPY to do it. It took away SO much of the stress. When they dropped off all our belongings, we got to chatting and I realized something else about the company that made me very happy. They are located throughout the whole country and often donate moves for great charitable causes. They really do care. Not only about doing a great job and making people’s lives easier, but they care about their community and helping others in need. I just thought that was incredible, especially after being so pleased with their help.

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Shawn and I are now settling into our new home. We love it so much and can’t wait to invite y’all in!! (THAT WAS MY FIRST Y’ALL EVER). Felt pretty good to be honest with you. I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes from the new kitchen, snaps of Tucker Doodle exploring, and probably Rick and Donna enjoying a nice Cabernet Sauvignon on the front porch.

Stay tuned to see how we decorate! All feedback is welcome!!

Love,

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HELLO 2017

The end of a year always makes me look back and reflect on the last 365 days. 2016 was a great year! Shawn and I explored new cities and started new ventures. I always love the traveling that we get to do and this year was no different! Between Paris and Hawaii, I’d say it was a pretty great year.

I’m almost ready to turn the page on 2016 and see what the next chapter holds. It’s both exciting and a tiny bit daunting, but 2017 is going to be a BIG one! I have some exciting things up my sleeve and I can’t wait to share with all of you.

How are you celebrating the new year? Whether you’re hitting the streets to ring it in or staying cozy at home with loved ones, it’s always fun to dress up for New Year’s Eve – I just love the energy and buzz (and the bubbly) that comes with it!

I’ve pulled together some of my favourite pieces for NYE. If you’re planning to dress up in glitter, or staying home to bang pots and pans, take a peek below. Maybe you’ll find something you love!

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I’m raising my glass of bubbly and wishing you guys all the very best in 2017!

Love,

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MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS, OLD AND NEW!

I think we can all agree that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It never gets old and every year it feels just as special. I believe it has to do with the happy memories from our childhoods – back when we all believed in magic! What a time to be alive!

Growing up, our family always had the house decorated to the point where we could blow the fuses. If we had all the lights on I couldn’t blow dry my hair or I would blow a fuse! We would change the panels on the light switches, swap our soap dispensers and towels and place festive magnets on the fridge. Our paper towels would be Christmas-y and so would the dog bowls. You name it, we changed it and really got into the spirit. My sister and I would write letters to Santa, we had advent calendars and ate chocolate every day. I would always read books under the Christmas tree and we had the tackiest (but also loveliest) decorations. Ones that were battery powered and sang songs. We would all decorate as a family and bring out games. My sister and I would watch Pee Wee Herman’s Christmas – our favourite holiday movie.

One special tradition was hanging our stockings. We had the most special, kind, loving and sweet grandmas of all time (on both sides). One grandma was an artist and she created ornaments for us when we were born (I still have all of my first ornaments as seen in the picture below). My other grandma knitted our stockings and all of her grandchildren had one. Before she passed away, she knitted as many as she could for her great grand kids, too. I’ve had it with me every year, and last year with life being so crazy and moving to Nashville, Shawn took it upon himself to get my mom to mail it to him, and he filled it for me and surprised me on Christmas morning. It even had an orange at the bottom, just like mom and dad always used to do. I cried my eyes out that he knew how special a stocking was to me and got it for our first Christmas morning together.

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On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would get to open one present each (mom would always make sure it was new matching pjs). We would leave Rudolph some carrots and for Santa…beer and cookies. Yes, beer. Screw the milk! Mom and dad always said it was Rudolph driving, so it was okay for Santa to have one beer. My dad would read to us the night before Christmas and I would get to sleep in my sister’s room (I’m not going to lie, I was scared of Santa). On Christmas morning, we would sit at the top of the stairs while mom and dad made hot chocolate and made sure Santa had set everything up properly.

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I hope my family knows how special they made Christmas every year – including my aunts, uncles and cousins. I’m very lucky for the family I have. I can see my sister passing down traditions to her kids and I love seeing how much joy it brings the family. I can’t wait to do the same.

Shawn and I have started our own traditions, too! Last year was our first Christmas together and we had the best time. We bought Superman and Batman onesies (obviously Snapchatted about it), Shawn took me to the Grinch live musical at the Grand Ole Opry on the 23rd. I love musicals more than anything and you could even drink wine in the theatre! On Christmas Eve, we brought out our mattress and made a living room bed, cooked appies, drank wine, watched movies and played cards and old school Super Nintendo. We woke up on Christmas morning and made Bailey’s and coffee, a big breakfast and opened presents (and stockings). It was so fun having it be just the two of us and we got so excited to one day have a family with our new traditions, and ones passed along. I cooked us a turkey dinner at night and we just had such a nice Christmas together. I’m listening to Christmas songs as I write this and I can’t stop smiling. Smiling is my favorite.

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What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What are some new ones that you’ll pass on to your kids?

I will leave you with a Christmas joke.

What do you call an elf who sings?

A wrapper.

Love,

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