A Letter To Myself (and all the other brides out there)

Sometimes it easier to give advice to someone outside yourself, with that in mind I often try to think of myself as a separate person, someone I can give advice to without the internal conflict of my actual feelings at the moment. I’m getting married tomorrow, and it felt like a good time to write myself a little letter, a little reminder to enjoy the day.

Dear Bride,

It’s finally here, the big day, the one you have dreamed of in some small form since you were a little girl, the one that you have tirelessly planned and scrutinized over for the past 11 and half months, the one in which you become a Mrs. and officially become a wife to the man you have grown to love and cherish for the past 7 years. I know you thought this day was never going to get here, that the late nights stressing over all the little details felt like they were never going to end, but it’s here, you made it!

Now I need you to take a deep breath, no, no, deeper, breath in… out… there you go, keep doing that. All day whenever you feel those butterflies swirling around, your stomach flip, your brain grow fuzzy, the thoughts of trying to control the day start drifting into your brain, come back to this, breath in… out… in… out… take a second, look around you, squeeze Bryan’s hand tighter, lean in to your father, hug your maid of honor, let your mother kiss you on the cheek, smell the flowers in your bouquet, dance up on your bridesmaid, laugh with the groomsmen, take a sip of wine, joke around with your brother, give a goofy grin to your photographer, repeat those vows you picked to yourself, and just be present in the moment.

It will be so tempting to double (even triple, quadruple) check the schedule you spent hours perfecting to make sure everything is going as planned, I know, I know how your brain works, but don’t do it. You will want to make sure all the decorations are in order, all the escort cards lined up, all the guests enjoying themselves, but don’t worry yourself with any of these things. You have spent so many hours, so many days planning, nights stressing, all so that on this day you could relax and enjoy the day, so let yourself. When the anxiety hits, because we know it will, take a deep breath, count the reasons you love Bryan, and sink into the day. Let the makeup artist do her job and pamper you, let the day of coordinator do hers and run the show, let your bridesmaids do theirs and shield you from whatever is going on, let all of those vendors and plans you put so much effort into show you how amazing they all are.

And when something inevitably goes wrong, whether your dress rips, you trip down the aisle, the flowers never show up, it pours down rain, or the DJ plays the wrong song for your first dance, whatever it may be, laugh at it, remember that this is the story you will tell your children some day when they are stressing over their own wedding. Remember that this is the moment that you will cherish later and laugh at for years to come. Remember that this day is about love, not the details it has felt like it was about for the past year.

Most of all, enjoy yourself, let yourself be swept away by the love pouring out around you. Kiss Bryan longer, hug him harder, smile bigger, laugh louder, dance bolder, be freer than you have been ever before. This day is the first day of a new and exciting chapter in your life, kick it off with joy.

Congratulations Mrs. Holzer, you and Bryan deserve all the love on this day and all the days to come!

Honeymoon Reading List

We are days away from the wedding, which also means we are less than a week from Honeymoon time, and I could not be more excited for that! Between wedding plan and just normal life in general I am more than ready for a vacation and some solid time relaxing on the beach with my husband (ahh can’t believe that is going to be a real word in a few days!). I have been looking forward to laying around reading on my honeymoon for quite some time now so of course I have been saving up books for the occasion, and today I want to share the books I’m bringing with me.

I’m usually all about Gone Girl -esque books or non-fiction books where I can learn a little something about business, life, psychology, etc. but neither of those seemed the appropriate genre’s to bring on a honeymoon. So I rounded up some other books on my to read list that will hopefully be perfect for relaxing in the sun as a newlywed.

Audiobooks
Starting off with the audiobooks that I am bringing along. I don’t know how much of these I’ll get through, it really depends on the trip, but I like having some handy for things like being too tired on the plane to read, but not tired enough to actually fall asleep, or if I can’t sleep at night they are nice to listen to for a bit until I get sleepy.

  • The Vacationers by Emma Straub – I have this on hold through Overdrive from the library right now and am hoping I get it before we leave. It sounded like a fine read and the scenery and location of the novel make it honeymoon worthy to me.
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Last I checked I could get this through Overdrive without a hold so I’m hoping that’s still the case when we are getting closer to leaving so I can grab it really quick. This is another one that just struck me as a good beach time summer read.
  • The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – This one isn’t quite as honeymoon-y as the other books I have picked out, but I own it on audible right now and haven’t started it yet so it’s there mostly as a safety net if I run out of other options.

Hold in Your Hand Books
Yes, I realize that seems like a weird way to describe books, but the next section is Kindle books, so these are actual books that you hold in your hand, not digital. Can I just say how ridiculous it is that I even need a word for this, it used to just be books. Anyways these books are ones that I have at home and just wanted to get through and felt would fit the honeymoon vibes while not being too large that I didn’t want to pack them.

  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – This one I just recently started so I want to bring it to finish it before starting something else, that being said the premise behind the book while not a light, fun, beach read, seems somewhat applicable to a honeymoon. Alice is 29, happily married, with a baby on the way and then wakes up at 39 and everything is falling apart but she doesn’t remember the last 10 years, since I’m close to Alice at 29 (not quite, but close) and I too would be devastated if I woke up 10 years from now and realized my life was in shatters, I think the lessons in the book are perfect for a newlywed.
  • Adventures for Your Soul: 21 Ways to Transform Your Habits and Reach Your Full Potential by Shannon Kaiser – I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile. It’s all about reaching your potential and being happy and being your best version, and since getting married is one of those life events that can be taken as a new beginning it seems like a perfect time to finally read it.

Kindle
And finally, the meat of my honeymoon reading. I love my kindle, especially for occasions like this, it’s super easy to pack and you get so much content out of one little device, plus all the books are always much cheaper on kindle than when you buy the paperback version. Most of the books in this category are romance novels, because well, it’s my honeymoon, what better time to read some cheesy romance novels than laying on the beach next to your new husband?

  • Love and Lists (Chocoholics #1) by Tara Sivec – I read the Chocolate Lovers series a few years ago by Tara Sivec and absolutely loved them. They were funny and light and if I hadn’t of already finished the set, would have been perfect for the honeymoon. Instead I’m picking up the first in the Chocoholics series which features the kids of the characters from the Chocolate Lovers series.
  • A Beautiful Lie (Playing with Fire #1) by T.E. Sivec – I wanted to grab another book by Sivec, because of how much I loved the Chocolate Lovers series, so decided to give A Beautiful Lie a try (ha, that rhymed!)
  • Maybe Someday (Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover – These next two came as recommendations based on the first two and from friends I have that like romance novels. I don’t really know what to expect, but hoping for the best.
  • On the Island (On the Island #1) by Tracey Garvis-Graves – Same as above, came as a recommendation and hoping for the best.
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski – It wouldn’t be my reading list if it didn’t have a little non-fiction mixed in, this one seemed like the perfect non-fiction read to grab for the honeymoon. I don’t have super high expectations for it, so we’ll see if I’m pleasantly surprised or not.
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – If the romance novels are getting to be too much Rainbow Rowell is someone I can always count on to provide a fun read. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and can’t wait to finally get into it.

What have you been reading lately? Any other suggestions for the honeymoon I should consider picking up? Or suggestions I can grab once we get back to get me through the rest of the summer?

Life Lately: 6/10/16

Hey! What’s up? It’s been awhile, and all the other obligatory things…

We are just one week (and 1 day) away from the wedding so I figured it was about time I checked in on this little forgotten space of the internet I sometimes call home.

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Wearing
All the white things. I know in the past I said white wasn’t my color, but the wedding is right around the corner and all the showers, parties, and random occasions have me donning all of the white clothes, and I think I found a new color to stick around in my collection!

Reading
My reading goal for 2016 is the same as it was in 2015, 50 books. However in 2015 I started the year off with a couple of trips that essentially ended up being nothing but laying around reading so by the time January ended I was already a few books ahead of schedule and just had to stay loosely on track to make it happen. I was worried that I’d get behind this year and then need to catch up during the honeymoon, instead with the honeymoon only a few weeks away I am still right on schedule! I’ve really loved the following books lately:

  • Pretties and Specials from Scott Westerfield’s Uglies Series
  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
  • The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways To Love Your Body by Kate Hudson

Listening To
Lots and lots of throwbacks. I made a playlist for my bachelorette party and another one for getting ready with my bridesmaids on the wedding day and both are full of throwback songs. I’m also working on a playlist for the honeymoon to listen to in the hotel room, full of songs we’ve listened to together over the past 7 years. Basically I’ve found myself saying “ah I totally forgot about that song” way more often than you would think right now.

Purchasing
My spending has been closed to all things outside of wedding and dance. As we are starting to pay the final invoices for all of our vendors it is hard to convince myself that anything is worth any money outside of that.

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Loving
Bryan, and all my bridesmaids, and friends, and family, basically everyone that is a part of this wedding at all. Everyone always says planning a wedding is so stressful and you end up fighting a lot. While there have been some moments, overall this wedding has taught me that Bryan and I are meant to be together, we work through things so well together, and the love of our family and friends has been so overwhelming, in the best possible way.

Working On
All things pole related, because I did something crazy and signed up for a pole competition in November. I am scared out of my mind because I am so far from ready to get up on stage and dance, but the fear is pushing me to work even harder and I’m really excited to see what comes out of it.

Looking Forward To
The wedding (and the honeymoon)! This feels like it has been a long time coming, Bryan and I have been dating for over 7 years, we’ve been engaged for almost a full year now, and I, being me, have had the wedding planned for months now. All the final small details are falling into place and I’m finding myself sitting here anxiously awaiting the big day and relaxing trip that follows.

Now I would love to hear, what have you been up to lately? Tried anything out you are dying to share?

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Weekly Inspiration #6

I recently went to a elevator pitch workshop where they talked about how to tell a story and the story spine, and how every story starts out with what is normal, things happen, and then at the end there is a new normal. Right now I feel like I am in that middle part. I had a routine and basic understanding of what my day to day, week to week, month to month, life looked like while I was working at my previous job. Now I am in an entirely new place, not only with work, but along with it my emotional state is in a much better place, and along with all of that comes so many changes.

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The past couple of weeks I have felt a bit like I am leaping from building to building, hoping that I don’t fall along the way and just keep my feet under me long enough to make it to the next place. I am working on figuring out what my new normal is going to be. When I came across this image it really spoke to me as I feel as if I’m sitting on the edge rather than back in the comfort of a well known routine.

I am working on finding my new normal right now, how about you? Have you made any big changes lately that have thrown you off balance, what are you doing to get back to your new normal?

Weekly Inspiration #5

Happy February! We have officially hit the month where we can either take the progress we made in January and continue on the healthier, happier paths we’ve started or we can give into the struggles we faced and go back to the same old life we had before we set so many expectations and goals for ourselves just a month ago. When I saw this quote I knew it was perfect for today, because I think there are probably many out there doubting themselves right now and wondering if they set their resolutions too lofty on January 1st. Today I want you to know that you are capable of continuing on, you are brave enough to push through whatever stands in your way, you are significant and important enough, you are worth it.

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 Life is hard, somedays it’s really hard, sometimes we want to turn back and go to when it was simpler, but the best is yet to come when we push through. If you are in that place of doubt right now, contemplating turning back, know that you are capable of doing amazing things, you are brave enough even when you feel your weakest (maybe even especially when), and you are important enough.

What are you struggling with today? What is standing in your way making you feel like you won’t overcome it? How are you going to show it that you are strong and capable enough?

Weekly Inspiration #4

So far for these weekly inspirations I’ve done a picture, a video, and a quote, but if I’m being completely honest the thing that inspires me more than anything else is music so it is finally time to add a song into the mix. This song is one that I found last year and since I am such a sucker for good lyrics I of course fell in love with it. Not only do the lyrics inspire a sense of not wanting to let any moment pass by, but the beat also makes me want to jump out of my seat, dance around, and then go kick butt.

This song is one that is on my short list of songs that I go to when I need a little pick me up after a hard day, a down week, or a stressful month. It’s that song that gets me back in the drivers seat of my life ready to take on whatever challenges come my way and live my life to the fullest no matter what.

What songs do you turn to when you need a little extra inspiration? How did this song inspire you this week?

Everyday Makeup Routine

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I mentioned the other day that I have simplified most of my daily routines, one of which was my daily makeup routine. Although I still go to my larger collection for special occasions, my everyday makeup routine has been simplified and today I wanted to share it and some of the tricks I use to make it look perfect every day.

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Step 1: Moisturize
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Starting out with a clean face I apply moisturizer all over to balance out the harsh dry air in the winter time. I’ve been using the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer for quite awhile now and I absolutely love it because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily and I can easily apply my makeup on top of it.

Steps 2 & 3: Prime and Eye Shadow
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Next I prime my entire face, lately I’ve been loving the the Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth and although I don’t use a ton of drugstore products these days when I find a good one I cling to it like this one. At the same time I prime my eyes with my tried and true Urban Decay Primer Potion. Once my face is ready for makeup I like to start with my eye shadow, because applying eyeshadow before foundation allows you to clean up imperfections later, it’s like a built in magic eraser! Right now I’m using the Tarte Apple of my Eye palette grabbing the auburn color for my crease, making sure to only sweep it about halfway over my eye with windshield wiper motions because bringing the darkest color too far in only accentuates dark circles, and then I do little circular motions to build up the product in my outer corner. Next I grab the lightest color in the palette and swipe it across my entire lid to brighten everything up. I love this simple look for everyday.

Steps 4 & 5: Foundation, Conceal and Touch Up
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Now it’s time for foundation! I’ve been using the Real Techniques makeup sponge lately to apply my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer all over my face. Then I apply my Bare Minerals BareSkin Concealer in a large triangle under my eye, bringing the product all the way down in this shape and over past the outside of your eye helps cover up dark circles and draw the eye away from this problem area. After blending the concealer in I will go back in with the brushes I used to apply my eyeshadow and add a little bit extra product in case I cleaned up too much during concealing. When I do this I never add more eyeshadow to my brush, I just use the leftover product on the brush to add a touch more pigment.

Steps 6, 7, & 8: Powder, Add Color, and Set
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I love cream products for their coverage and ability to sink into the skin rather than sit on top of it leaving it looking dry, but to keep it put all day I go over my whole face with a light hand of powder, lately I’ve been using the Bare Minerals Matte Foundation. Then making a lovely fishy face I apply the Benefit Hoola Bronzer to my face using the 3E method to hit the outline of my upper face, under my cheekbones, and under my neckline. I add a little more color to my face with one of the Maybelline Master Highlight Blushes, and then finally set all these products with another one of my tried and true favorite products, the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray.

Steps 9 & 10: Mascara and Lips
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Once the setting spray has dried I go in with the final products of my everyday makeup routine, my mascara, currently Cover Girl Lash Blast, and my lip color, currently Maybelline Color Whisper in Berry Ready.

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And that’s the final look that I wear everyday. What are your go to everyday products? Do you go for a full face, or something simpler day to day?