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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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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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THEY CALL ME FOUR EYES

I’m one of the lucky ones with 20/20 vision, but I’ve always had this thing for glasses. I rock them to change my outfits, not my eyesight! Some people have this infatuation with sky-high heels, but mines always been about frames – I’m nerdy like that. EyeBuyDirect.com sells theirs for such a reasonable price, and slowly my collection has been getting out of hand! The best part is – even if you don’t need a prescription, you can order lenses with digital screen protection and shield your eyes from blue-violet light emitted by digital screens.

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I’m drawn to glasses that are refined, fashionable and feminine. But I’m also not afraid to have a little fun and try something with a print or a bolder colour. I’m big on sunglasses and you’ll spot me wearing them when I sneak into a Starbucks or get off an 8-hour flight. Instant glam.

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Glasses are my go-to and I’m a fan. I’ve teamed up with EyeBuyDirect.com and curated my very own capsule collection that I’m excited to share with you! If you’re feeling festive, pick up a few and slip them into your friends’ holiday stockings, too. They’re made to order so hurry and place your order today, so that you get it by Christmas! Shipping usually takes 7-14 days, but I can promise you, it is definitely worth the wait.

Love,

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IT’S MY SASS, IT’S #NOTMYPERIOD

Recently, I teamed up with U by Kotex for the #itsnotmyperiod campaign, that challenges the stigma that women behave and act a certain way because of their periods, not because of who they really are. U by Kotex is an avid supporter of women’s progress and have always been on our side, battling against the stereotypes that come with that “time of the month”. That’s something that strikes a chord with me. I’ve realized that unintentionally, we all contribute to period stigma – and women are as guilty as men.

I had a conversation with my family about my partnership, and my stepmom told me that in the 1950s, female hygiene products were actually put into brown paper bags before being placed on shelves in shopping aisles. Okay, we’ve come a LONG way since this, but period stigma still exists when it comes to using periods to explain a woman’s behaviour and emotions, whether she’s on her period or not. That’s not okay. Periods don’t define women, women do. It’s such a normal and natural part of being a woman and it’s time we start treating it that way.

When I was on The Bachelorette there were so many moments that could’ve been misinterpreted as me being either too bossy or dramatic. What can I say, I knew what I wanted – and I guess that dubbed me as one of the show’s most controversial Bachelorette’s to date. I’ll take it.

I was there to meet my future husband and there was no time for nonsense. I was honest and called it how it was. That didn’t sit well with some people. Honestly, things got a little crazy and emotions ran high. The most difficult part for me were the rose ceremonies. I wore my heart on my sleeve and did my best to be as honest and forthright as possible. I thought I was doing the right thing by not sugar coating my feelings, but my words were misconstrued and some people couldn’t take it. Eyes rolled and others actually said things like “oh, geez she must be pms-ing.” Are you kidding me?

A women’s emotions and opinions should never be brushed off as her experiencing “that time of the month”. The things I felt on that show were raw and I own everything I said and did. That was me. That was not “code red”.

Look around. Women have made such incredible strides forward – but there’s still a long way to go. Before we tackle the larger issues, let’s take a step back and think about how we speak about the simple, everyday things. I want to know if you’ve heard this happen or experienced it personally before. Share with me online using #itsnotmyperiod so together, we can change the conversation!

Because seriously, it’s my sass, #itsnotmyperiod.

Love,

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MY CMA AWARDS BLOOPER REEL

Just a low key night in Nashville with Beyoncé and Dolly Parton.

I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of such an extravagant and memorable night. Since I was little, I’ve absolutely loved country music so this was a real treat for me! I mean legends of country were strolling through and um…did I already mention Beyoncé?

Last year, Shawn and I walked the red carpet as guests! Our lives were so crazy after coming off the show, and every interview we had asked us, “when’s the date?” It all happened so fast. We found out we were going to the awards only a day or two before, so I grabbed a dress out of my closet (that I previously wore on The Bachelor), called a salon to get my makeup done, and did my own hair. This year…it was different. It was the 50th anniversary for the awards show and that’s a big deal! I teamed up with Sounds Like Nashville and hosted live from the red carpet – things got a little weird! My stylist did a phenomenal job – thanks Lo VonRumpf for helping me make the best dressed list this year! The designer of the gorgeous gown was Hayley Paige. I just loved the sheer lacy black crop top paired with the voluminous organza skirt! Cali Jeffries did my hair and makeup…it lasted all night! I also accessorized with jewelry I had no business wearing – bonheur_jewelry is so stunning. And of course, I need to thank my fiance, Shawn and trainer, Erin Oprea for that “taut tummy”.

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We all know my love for wine, so I sipped on a nice pinot grigio, and started my night off right! Speaking of starting my night off right, I got to meet Macy when I walked in. You know, the little girl who’s always on Ellen and who knows all of the presidents? I’ve always loved her and told Shawn that I want our unborn children to be just like her. She was there to host for Ellen. I hope she knows how lucky she is! Ellen is my freakin’ hero and It was such a pleasure to meet Macy.

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The fun started right away with A Thousand Horses. I LOVE their song Smoke. My one goal was not to ask typical questions and right off the bat I remember asking them “there’s four of you, why “A Thousand Horses?” And they said they get asked that all the time. DANG IT! But every time I turned around I had someone interesting to talk to and interview. Miss America, Jesse James Decker, Jon Pardy, Cam, Michael Ray, Cassidy Pope, Chase Bryant…the list goes on.

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I spiced things up and was that interviewer that played games and made people laugh – I believe I succeeded. Shawn met me after to enjoy the show and legend after legend made for an incredibly historical night – one I won’t forget!! You can watch the video of the behind-the-scenes bloopers and my interviews here!! I felt so in my element and want to do more of this!

Here’s your backstage pass into my night at the CMA’s!

Love,

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PS. How hot was my date?

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FALL TRES-TRENDS

I can’t believe it. Pumpkin spiced latte and sweater season is right around the corner. Feels like just yesterday that Shawn and I road tripped from Nashville to beautiful BC for the summer, entertained by Snapchat and my sweet summer jams (Dierks Bentley, anyone?). While those dog days of summer are winding down, I am looking forward to the fall. I have a thing for fall fashion (and hair styles). Goodbye summer swept hair.

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There’s something about a new season that inspires change – a fresh perspective and a hot, new look. I’ve pulled together some of my fav go-to hairstyles that I’ll be rocking in the fall. The TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume line (where you condition first, shampoo second) give me the softness and bounce that every girl wants. Now you know my secret.

Date Night with Shawn: Surfbort Waves

Down in Nashville, the bigger the better (and that also goes for hair). I have a thing for full, voluminous hair that’s still touchable and soft. I’ll pass on that sticky hairspray stuff. I like to use TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume & Softness Hair Maximizer, and then go in with a curling iron. If I need to, I’ll finish it off with some Flexible Finish Hairspray. It gives me a full look, without the crunchy strands. It’s sexy yet still lived-in. I love it.

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Morning Strolls with Doodle: Top Knot

Whenever I dash out for a walk with Doodle, I don’t spend time perfecting my hair – I’m still an easy-going Canadian girl at heart. For those kinds of mornings, I wash my hair with TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-wash Conditioner and then Beauty-Full Volume Shampoo (and yes, I do it in that order). The combo gives me lots of volume without the fuss of hairspray and mousse. Then, I’ll blow dry it and gently brush it out. Finally, I gather it together, tie it in a top knot and head out the door. Easy!

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Brunch with the Ladies: Low Pony  

For brunch with the squad, I like to keep it simple and unfussy. You can’t go wrong with a low pony, parted down the middle. I’ll spray in the TRESemmé Flexible Finish Hairspray to lock my look. I hate seeing my hair fall flat and this stuff keeps it looking cute and casual. I’m all about smooth hair without the stiffness that comes with an ordinary hairspray. This finish spray keeps my hair’s natural movement.

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But for the next little bit, I’ll be rocking those beachy, summer waves. Perfectly imperfect and it works (for now).

Love,

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WEDDING DIET DETOX

Over the last year, I’ve worked really hard to change my lifestyle. Life’s about balance and I’m all for it. To me, being healthy isn’t about intense diets or quick fixes. It’s about the small steps that wind up making a big difference. I’m also naturally petite and for most of my life, I haven’t really thought about what’s good for my health. I’m lucky to have a quick metabolism, but hey, we’re all the same on the inside, right?

Enter Shawn. He’s a big book guy, a big guitar guy, a big hair guy – but, surprise, surprise. He’s also a big multivitamin guy. I wasn’t really into it at first, but now I take a Centrum multivitamin every morning – it helps support my health goals.

I’m really trying to stick to a routine – having a multivitamin each day, eating healthy and getting regular exercise. I guess you could say I have a little more motivation now. Shawn and I haven’t set a wedding date just yet, but we’ve been bouncing around ideas and it’s in our cards for the near future. Recently, a lot of my friends have gotten married and as much as a bride wants to look her best, it’s just as important that she FEELS her best. Sign me up.

On top of taking a multivitamin daily, I’ve been eating very healthy. I try and have four meals a day and they usually consist of egg whites, toast with almond butter, fruit, chicken salad, chicken tacos, protein shakes and lots of veggies. I eat as much raw sushi as I can (and stay away from the sodium packed soy sauce). I also eat a lot of salmon and I try not to eat carbs too late in the evening. Oh, yes. I also have wine a few times a week. Wine and dark chocolate are my guilty pleasures and then at least once a week I will eat a cheat meal – a big bacon cheeseburger, pancakes, waffles or a big bowl of pasta. Remember that thing I said about balance? I live by it.

But what’s a healthy lifestyle without exercise?! It helps that my fiancé and a close girlfriend are trainers. Erin Oprea is a good friend from Nashville and has been helping me maintain a healthy lifestyle (and really kicking my butt!). She also trains Carrie Underwood, Jana Kramer and Kelsie Ballerini. I work out four times a week with either Erin or Shawn – and if I want to shake it up, I do a spin class. I’m also kind of hooked on my FitBit. Usually, I try and reach 10k steps per day #goals.

I know it won’t be long until I’m in a white dress, so I’m taking my lifestyle choices pretty seriously. It’s not just to look good, but it’s to feel amazing when I walk down that aisle.

Love,

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Centrum provided information and support to develop this content. The opinions and advice shared here are my own.

KAITLYN BRISTOWE X STILNEST JEWELRY

Music has always been my biggest inspiration. I grew up in the dance studio and was doing pirouettes almost as soon as I could walk. Whenever I’d step on to the dance floor, I’d have this overwhelming feeling of safety. It didn’t matter if it was a ballet class or a hip hop class – I’d still get that feeling. Dance was amazing in that it taught me confidence and creativity. I may get a bit of that from my mama, but dance really took it to a new level!

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Since moving to Nashville with Shawn, I’ve really gotten into singing. I’ve been working with a voice coach and a songwriter and I absolutely love it! Nashville is Music City. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and historic Ryman Auditorium are Downtown and the city is packed with legendary honky-tonks, dive bars and dance halls. When I’m in Nashville, I’m in my element.

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Looking back, it only made sense to create a jewelry line that mirrors my love for music. It’s helped me get through tough times, but it’s also been a source of comfort. Music makes me happy and it’s what I turn to when there’s a moment worth celebrating. This is what this collection is about. It’s personal.

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I’ve teamed up with Stilnest to design something that’s one-of-a-kind. The necklaces, rings, bracelet and headpiece are made from a high quality 925 sterling silver and are also available in gold or rose gold (my fav!).

Shop my collection and wear it to music festivals, after parties and concerts with friends. Enjoy it. I’ll be doing the same.

Love,

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Photo Credit: Sharla Pike Photography